Highlights, Intercontinental Cup 2018, India vs New Zealand: Sunil Chhetri and Co qualify for final despite loss

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Highlights, Intercontinental Cup 2018, India vs New Zealand: Sunil Chhetri and Co qualify for final despite loss
  • 22:49 (IST)

    That's it from us. Though it was a tightly-contested match, New Zealand had the upper hand in important phases of the game. Especially Sarpreet Singh tried his best to create a number of chances and was instrumental in providing the equaliser and the late strike. For India, the only consolation was a lucky goal of Sunil Chhetri. 

    The Indian defence looked out of sorts and Stephen Constantine's men have a lot of work to do if they hope to win the Hero Intercontinental Cup on Sunday. 

    The Mumbai crowds braved the rains once again to extend support to the Indian football team and it was a nice sight to look at the Blue Tigers playing in front of packed houses. 

    Unless something drastic happens in the match between Kenya and Chinese Taipei, the finals on Sunday will most likely be a repeat of today's match. 

    Will it be a repeat or will Kenya manage to sneak in is something we'll know after tomorrow's match. 

    Cye once again when India is in action at the Hero Intercontinental Cup. 

    Thank you 

  • 21:58 (IST)

    FULL TIME!

    INDIA 1-2 NEW ZEALAND

    And India's winning run at the Mumbai Football Arena comes to an end with a 2-1 loss to New Zealand. The Kiwis were deserved winners tonight. Barring a goalfest for Kenya against Chinese-Taipei, these two sides will meet again on Sunday

  • 21:45 (IST)

    GOAL!

    IND 1-2 NZ

    New Zealand get a fully deserved goal. They have shown more intent in the attacking third this half. It needs to be seen if India try to get an equaliser now. As it stands, it's going to be a rematch in the final.

  • 21:42 (IST)

    80' IND 1-1 NZ

    India are playing out for a draw. They are taking their time to take free kicks and throw ins. And on cue, Subhashish Bose goes down with cramps.

  • 75'  IND 1-1 NZ

    That's the end of the match for Narayan Das. Subhashish Bose moves to left back

  • 60' IND 1-1 NZ

    It has been all New Zealand after Chhetri's goal. The Kiwis have ensured to close down on Jeje and Sunil whenever the duo have got on the ball. Udanta has been pegged back and is almost playing as an auxiliary right back.

  • 21:10 (IST)

    GOAL!

    IND 1-1 NZ

    New Zealand's Andre De Jong with an instant reply. The Indian defence was caught sleeping there and De Jong did well to calmly slot it past Amrinder

  • 21:09 (IST)

    GOAL!

    IND 1-0 NZ

    A goal out of nothing. That's all one can say about Chhetri's 62nd goal for India

  • Triple change for India at HT. Jeje, Narzary and Pronoy on for Ashique Kuruniyan, Balwant Singh and Rowlin Borges.

  • Half-time: IND 0-0 NZ 

    Apart from Chhetri's chance late in the first half, there was nothing much to show attacking-wise for India. The Kiwi defence has been able to cope with India's long ball tactics. The Indian back-four has been able to deal with the Kiwi attacks, but barely.

  • 20:46 (IST)

    43' IND 0-0 NZ

    How costly would that miss turn out to be?! Good cross from Aashique and an even better-cushioned header from Balwant to tee up Chhetri. You would normally count on him to smash it in the back of the net but he skies it.

  • 20:39 (IST)

    37' IND 0-0 NZ

    Rowlin with a crucial block to deny New Zealand the opener. He has been largely absent going forward for India tonight though

  • 20:37 (IST)

    35' IND 0-0 NZ

    How good has Amrinder Singh been in between the posts? The Indian goalkeeper has been in fine form, but the Indian defence is worrisome. They are letting the New Zealand attack to take quite a few shots at goal. 

  • 20:30 (IST)

    30' IND 0-0 NZ

    Udanta comes on for Rafique. With no clear-cut chances created, India desperately needed a creative outlet and hopefully for them, the Bengaluru winger can provide that. However, that will be a hammer blow to Rafique's confidence.

  • 20:26 (IST)

    20' IND 0-0 NZ

    The teams have been battling it out for the faintest of openings and Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri almost had a chance but the New Zealand keeper manages to retrieve the ball after a couple of fumbles to ensure the deadlock stays 

  • 20:20 (IST)

    YELLOW CARD!
    And this time it is India's Narayan Das who receives the card from the referee for an overly aggressive tackle

  • 11' IND 0-0 NZ

    Ingham gets on the ball, is roundly booed by the fans, and then swings in a beautiful cross towards the back post only to see it being headed over the goal 

  • Yellow Card!

    New Zealand's Jai Ingham has just got on the wrong side of the Indian fans by trying to pull Ashique to his feet. He's booked for it. Chants of 'loser' goes around ground.

  • 20:06 (IST)

    5' IND 0-0 NZ

    Amrinder has been called into action early in the match but he needed Ashique Kuruniyan's help there to clear a cross from the left. 
    Delightful little dink there from Chhetri to send Balwant free on the right. But the skipper was crowded out by the Kiwi defence as he looked to have a go at goal

  • While India have all but confirmed their spot in the final, it's a must-win match for the Kiwis. They are tied with Kenya at 3 points but have a superior goal difference. However, the African side face Chinese-Taipei in their final match which makes this a crucial match for the Kiwis

  • Wondering how the officials claim the stadium has been sold out when only a quarter of the VIP section has been filled

  • With 30 minutes to go, the stadium is only half full. Fans are still streaming in but don't think a full stadium will greet Sunil Chhetri and Co tonight

  • The Indian team come out for warm-ups to a loud cheer from the Blue Pilgrims. And of course, Chhetri's name is the only one on the fans' lips

  • With qualification for the final all but confirmed, coach Stephen Constantine has decided to bench six starters from the previous matches. Jeje doesn't start for his 50th national team appearance. Joining him on the bench are Sandesh Jinghan, Anas Edathodika, Udanta, Nazrary and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Skipper Chhetri starts though

  • It was a full house last time following skipper Sunil Chhetri's plea. Tickets have also been sold out for tonight's match according to BookMyShow, but apart from the Blue Pilgrims, the fans are yet to turn up. Still an hour to go for the match to get underway

  • It rained in India's last match against Kenya which resulted in a water-logged pitch. One could see puddles forming on the pitch which adversely affected the quality of play. The ground staff have covered the middle of the pitch to protect it from rain, but they won't be able to do anything of it starts raining during the match

  • 18:49 (IST)

    Hello and welcome to Firstpost's coverage of the Hero Intercontinental Cup, happening at the Mumbai Football Arena. In today's match, India take on New Zealand. 

Preview: A final berth in grasp along with a morale-boosting emotional connect with the fans, the Indian football team would be aiming for another big win when it takes on a relatively young New Zealand in what has been declared a sold-out match of the Intercontinental Cup on Thursday.

The low-profile four-nation tournament, dismissed as devoid of quality at the very outset, captured the public imagination courtesy a one and a half minute video by Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri appealing for fans' support before his 100th appearance for the country.

The message struck such a chord that it put the entire tournament in spotlight and gave Chhetri one of the most memorable outings of his more than a decade-long career as even a heavy downpour failed to stop the fans from packing the Mumbai Football Arena.

Sunil Chhetri scored a hat-trick against Chinese Taipei in the opening match of the Intercontinental Cup. Image Courtesy: AIFF

File image of Sunil Chhetri in action in the Intercontinental Cup. Image Courtesy: AIFF

He gave them what they had come for, scoring twice to guide India to a 3-0 win over Kenya. The win took the hosts into the final.

The organisers claim that the tickets for Thursday's match as well as Sunday's final have been sold out.

On to the footballing matters, after having blanked Chinese Taipei and Kenya, India will look to complete a hat-trick of wins on Thursday.

But it remains to be seen whether coach Stephane Constantine sticks to playing his best XI or attempts a few changes to give stars like Chhetri and defender Sandesh Jhingan a break.

The match against Kenya, which India won 3-0, was played under heavy rain and the soaked turf became an opposition in its own right for both the teams. The match was a physically draining one and man of the match defender Jhingan had limped off after an awkward fall.

Should Chhetri skip the match on Thursday, someone like Balwant Singh might get a chance.

The hosts also have an array of attacking midfielders like Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder.

They will have to play their part to perfection if the likes of Kiwi striker Myer Bevan have to be restricted.

And India also have an equally strong defence with players like Pritam Kotal.

Add to it the likes of Narayan Das and Subhashis Bose, the Kiwi strikers will have a hard time.

The game will also be special for Jeje Lalpekhlua as it will be his 50th match in national colours.

New Zealand coach Fritz Schmid has said that the game would be a big challenge.

India have a great custodian in the form of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu but a young Vishal Kaith or Amrinder Singh could get a game.

But despite India being the firm favourites to win the match, New Zealand could spoil their party by giving a tough fight.


Updated Date: Jun 07, 2018 22:49 PM

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