Calcutta: India fought back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in Group E of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 on Tuesday.
India, who showed a spirited performance to hold Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha last month, needed a late goal by Adil Khan to cancel out Saad Uddin's first half strike.
Igor Stimac's side stay fourth in the standings ahead of bottom-placed Bangladesh, who ended a run of two defeats to win a point against India.
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Bangladesh were quick off the blocks as they threatened early with India forced to defend after the first blow of the referee's whistle.
India regrouped and almost found the back of the net three minutes later when Sunil Chhetri found space inside the box but fired his effort straight into the arms of Bangladesh custodian Ashraful Islam Rana.
India had the lion’s share of possession but it was Bangladesh who looked more threatening whenever they counter-attacked.
Jamie Day’s side were quick to pounce on an Adil Khan mistake in the 32nd minute as Biplo Ahmed almost punished India but his shot from inside the area was saved by India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Bangladesh survived a scare in the 35th minute as India were denied by the crossbar after Manvir Singh headed his effort from inside the area.
However, three minutes before the break, Bangladesh shocked the home side when they took the lead through Uddin’s header off a free-kick.
India’s plan of mounting a second half comeback was derailed as Bangladesh started aggressively and almost doubled their lead in the 51st minute.
Nabib Newaj Jibon’s run at the India defence following an impressive team move was, however, cut short by an advancing Sandhu.
India had a chance to level the proceedings at the hour mark through Anas Edathodika’s header from inside the area but Ahmed cleared the ball on the line.
Bangladesh almost doubled their lead in the 70th minute when Jibon tried to chip over Sandhu but Khan came to India’s rescue when he scrambled the ball to safety.
Khan then performed heroics at the other end when he scored with a glancing header at the near post off a corner with two minutes left in the game to salvage a point for India.
Photos: All India Football Federation
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