India and New Zealand got involved in what can be called as a nail-biting game that kept the fans on their toes till the last moment. The Intercontinental Cup is turning out to be one favorite tournament among the people across India following Sunil Chhetri’s viral plea over the social media.
Though India couldn’t manage a win over the visiting nation, their Captain did manage to seize the 62nd goal of his international career and equaled his tally with that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s as well. Indian coach, Stephen Constantine had introduced 7 changes in his side in order to check the team’s bench strength, something which didn’t go as planned.
New Zealand on the other hand, had made 4 changes to their side and somehow the combination clicked for them from the first instant. The final goal from the Kiwis ends in the 85th minute of the game led India to their first loss of the Intercontinental Cup. India might have secured a seat in the finals, but their loss landed them on the 2nd position while the Kiwis jumped to the 1st position with 6 points in 2 games.
Without wasting much time let’s have a look at the 4 talking points from tonight’s game between India and New Zealand in the Intercontinental Cup
Was it Sunil’s brilliance or the Kiwi’s goalkeeping mistake?
Sunil might have equaled his International goal tally with the legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic, yet he couldn’t help his team a victory over the visitors despite his magnificent achievement. But the question arises, whose
Michale Cornelis, New Zealand’s 3rd in choice keeper had smashed a shot onto Sunil’s body which bounced back into his own den. So it can’t actually be called a complete Captain’s effort, still credits to him for being so close to the keeper and forcing him to go for that powerful hit.
In fact, the one goal that Kiwis concealed by their keeper’ error, proved as a blessing for India as it helped them to prevent a pitiful defeat of 3-0 at the hands of the visitors. 2-1 is still a better score to settle down than 3-0.
India’s bench failed to put up a good show
Coach Stephen Constantine’s decision of checking the bench strength backfired for the Indian team. The inclusion of 7 new members into the playing XI didn’t really allow India to get an edge over the Kiwi unit. Among the players who got the opportunity in tonight’s game, only Anirudh Thapa managed to shine for the men in blue. He seemed to be the only player to have shown some determination and intent on the field.
Salam Ranjan Singh, Md. Rafique, Subhashish Bose, and Balwant Singh managed to put up a dismal performance for their side. Looks like these players paved their way back into the benches. The decision of replacing Balwant Singh with Jeje looked like a perfect call for the Indian side. Constantine would have to finalize on the playing XI before it becomes too late for the Men in Blue.
Indian team looked a bunch of sitting ducks
Fans flocked in at huge numbers to witness the riveting competition hoping the Blue Tigers to ensure a victory over the Kiwis. Indian team were the favorite before tonight’s game and were expected to be exhibit some dominating style play against their opponents.
Unfortunately, it was the Kiwis who managed to get the better of the Indian unit from the first moment. Within the first 2 minutes of the game, the Kiwis had managed to create 3 scoring opportunities against the Blue Tigers.
The Kiwis managed to completely outshine the Indian team with their aggressive passes and crosses. They went all assault on the right wing of the Indian team and the superb coordination of the Kiwi players oozed out the pressure from them in the 1st half of the game itself.
Poor Amrinder Singh looked clueless in tonight’s battle as New Zealand whipped in on many occasions which finally helped them get the major breakthrough over the Blue Tigers.