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India hold Afghanistan 1-1, but left in the cold with no wins

India hold Afghanistan 1-1, but left in the cold with no wins

AFC
Dushanbe
Super-sub Seiminlen Doungel helped India salvage a 1-1 draw with Afghanistan in their FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Asian Qualifiers Group E tie on Thursday.
The draw takes Afghanistan to four points while India are still awaiting their first win, having drawn two and lost one of their previous three matches.
The pressure was on India to impress and they started on the front foot as Pritam Kotal sent a cross into the Afghanistan box in the fifth minute but none of his compatriots could lay a finishing touch.
Afghanistan, with just one win after three matches, also needed the three points at the Republican Central Stadium and forced Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh into his first save of the night five minutes later.
Ashique Kuruniyan came close twice near the half-hour mark, but shot his first effort wide before being dispossessed in his run into the box.
Shayesteh was at it again in the 39th minute with a shot from distance, only for goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh to pull off an incredible save that tipped the ball past the upright.
Afghanistan, however, were not to be denied a minute into added time with Zelfagar Nazary breaking the deadlock, with Najem assisting.
In an attempt to find the equaliser, India head coach Igor Stimac called on the services of Farukh Choudhary and Manvir Singh in the 46th and 59th minutes, but the Afghan defence remained steady.
Two Sunil Chettri headers in the 67th minute could not beat Afghanistan goalkeeper Ovays Azizi, before Brandon Fernandes’ shot from over 25 yards out sailed over the bar.
But India kept pushing and they found their breakthrough in the third minute of added time with Fernandes supplying Doungel in the box, who rose highest to head home the equaliser.
India will have to travel away again to Oman next Tuesday, while Afghanistan will only get back into action next March.

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