Under-23 AFC Championship: India, Bangladesh in goalless draw

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Dhaka: India and Bangladesh finished with a goalless draw in a power blackout-marred Group E exchange of the under-23 AFC Championship at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here on Tuesday.

India threatened the Bangladesh citadel time and again in the first session, but the script was reversed after the lemon break as Bangladesh boys dominated.

Bangabandhu National Stadium was enveloped in total darkness as the lights went off. The players went back to the dressing room, got cooled down in the process and waited. The wait lasted another 40 minutes in total leading to an interval of 55 minutes.

In the first half, midfielder Germanpreet Singh’s 16th minute long ranger dipped viciously only to go wide as India pressed right from the kick-off.

In the 33rd minute, a defensive lapse almost saw Holicharan Narzary in the clear but Nurul Faisal was quick to recover and thwart the Indian.

Holicharan also had the best chance in the first half when he directed Avinash’s cross into the net from inside the 6-yard box but an acrobatic rival Goalkeeper Liton palmed it away.

There were a series of corners which India earned in the first half but none of them proved fruitful.

As the Players were on their way to the ground from the dressing room for the restart after the interval, the lights went off, enveloping the stadium in total darkness.

After a 40-minute wait, the match restarted.

The Indians seemed sapped of energy in the second half, as they played virtually at walking pace.

All that enabled Bangladesh to dominate though never that threatening enough as India in the first 45 minutes.

Apart from Siam Hangal’s shot from close which ballooned over, there wasn’t anything worth mentioning about India in the second half.

India finished Group E with one point.

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