Soccer historical past is replete with examples the place weaker nations have dug deep and proven grit to grab some extent in opposition to relative heavyweights. Most often, it’s the goalkeeper or a defender who hogs the limelight, because of their brave defensive actions. As a rule, they assume a stature of legendary proportions on the finish of the match.
Within the 2014 World Cup, a sure Guillermo Ochoa of Mexico turned a family identify when he pissed off a star-studded Brazil group in Fortaleza to carry them to a 0-0 draw. Wanting a bit nearer to residence, India’s very personal Subrata Paul and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu have been in an analogous state of affairs on a number of events and so they turned out to be heroes with their particular person brilliance.
Within the 2011 AFC Asian Cup, Paul was nicknamed ‘Spiderman’ by the followers for his valiant performances in opposition to a lot superior sides like Australia and South Korea. Though his internet was pierced by each groups, if it had not been for him, the scoreline would have been worse for India.
Equally, Sandhu stated ‘Thou shalt not go’ to Marcelo Lippi’s China in a pleasant again in 2018 and India secured a 0-0 draw. Furthermore, throughout India’s historic draw in opposition to the reigning Asian champions Qatar in Doha, the 29-year-old as soon as once more produced the products and was undoubtedly the very best participant on the pitch.
In all of the above talked about cases, there was one widespread theme. It was the lower-ranked group’s goalkeeper who stood out together with his shot-stopping expertise because the stronger aspect bombarded the opposition aim with relentless and purposeful offensive motion.
On Thursday afternoon, when India locked horns in opposition to Sri Lanka, it was a assembly between the 107th and 205th-ranked groups. Apparently, if we take a better take a look at the FIFA rankings, we discover out that Sri Lanka are the second lowest-ranked ‘nation’ on the earth. The groups who’re ranked decrease than them are three abroad British territories (Turks and Caicos Island, British Virgin Islands, and Anguilla), one abroad United States’ island (US Virgin Islands), and San Marino, the second smallest impartial state in Europe, surrounded on all sides by Italy and with a inhabitants of simply 33,600.
But India, the seven-time winners of the SAFF Championship may muster solely a single shot on track, and that too was a tame effort on aim by substitute Sahal Abdul Samad. Typically we discover coaches defending their troops after a poor end result, saying that his group had created possibilities however weren’t scientific in entrance of aim which precipitated the downfall. Properly, sadly, Igor Stimac can hardly use that as an alibi.
The Blue Tigers lacked creativity within the attacking third and struggled to interrupt down a Sri Lankan aspect that sat deep in a 5-4-1 formation. To be exact, India had created simply two-and-a-half possibilities all through the match. And even these two clear-cut alternatives had been missed.
Sujan Perera, within the Sri Lankan aim, was not all troubled and there was not one occasion the place the goalkeeper was pushed to his limits. Sunil Chhetri was stored in verify and voila, the Indian group regarded like a fish out of water. And what’s extra regarding is that it’s not a one-off occasion. They’ve discovered it arduous in opposition to Bangladesh within the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and subsequently within the SAFF Championship, and likewise in opposition to Nepal throughout the latest friendlies in Kathmandu.
It virtually is stunning that such a superior aspect, at the very least on paper, like India couldn’t work the Sri Lankan goalkeeper extra. And that’s disconcerting.
India are slated to play Nepal and Maldives of their subsequent two video games and Stimac’s males want to point out higher objective and ability if they’re to qualify for the ultimate of the event.
https://www.aim.com/en/news/saff-championship-2021-india-draw-sri-lanka-igor-stimac/1closli9ulfom1pq5rz75s9gs2 | SAFF Championship 2021: Draw in opposition to Sri Lanka additional highlights India’s attacking woes