(88') Goal! India 0, United Arab Emirates 2. Indeed, India's coach Stephen Constantine, in his pre-match presser remarked how his side were expecting a stern reply from their opponents.
That stupendous show earned India three valuable points, a place on top of the group and a goal average of plus three. Nevertheless, the Indians gave a very good account of themselves in a match where most people expected nothing out of them, and on the basis of this performance will no doubt be looking forward to the final group game against Bahrain. The Blue Tigers won their opening game 4-1 against Thailand and are likely through to the knockouts, while UAE escaped with a draw against Bahrain after they were gifted a generous penalty. "They played against a strong team, but they scored very well".
UAE go top with a win and a draw, while India go second on goal difference, being level on points with Thailand, who managed a win despite sacking their coach after an opening day humiliation against the Indians.
In a team sport like football, a squad heavily dependent on Chhetri would not have experienced a 13-match unbeaten run on way to qualifying for the tournament.More news: Peter Farrelly Apologizes for Exposing Himself to Cameron Diaz
The 65-year-old does not want to leave any margin for error and will ensure that the hosts get back on track as they seek Asian Cup Glory.
Minutes after coming off the bench against Thailand, Jeje Lalpekhlua found the back of the net, and so did young Anirudh Thapa.
Udanta, in fact, set up a couple of goals including the inch-perfect cross from right flank, which Chhetri slammed home for India's second goal. Unlike the former name, Ismael didn't even make an appearance off the bench as the coach failed to acknowledge the influence UAE's most capped worldwide player can bring into the match.
The Whites got off to a poor start in the Asian Cup as they were held 1-1 by Bahrain in their Group A opener.
"My focus is on the game against India and to deliver the best performance and satisfy the UAE fans". It was the late goal by substitute Ahmed Khalil that saved them the blushes.More news: Canberra to decide Saudi's fate after United Nations refugee ruling
Ismail Al Hammadi - He has been a key member of the UAE side for over 10 years and has scored against India in 2011.
UAE will look to dominate the midfield where Anirudh Thapa and Pronay Halder will come up against a tightly-knit unit.
The good work, and sustained spell of pressure, however, was undone when a defensive lapse gave Mabkhout the space to put Mubarak through, who made no mistake in slotting past Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
India will hope to not get carried away by all these, something their coach stressed a day after the win against Thailand.More news: Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky to miss game after unknown ‘incident’