India went down against Tajikistan with 2-4 on scoreboard in the opening match of the Intercontinental Cup. Though the Blue Tigers were leading in the half time with a terrific brace form Sunil Chhetri it was comedy of errors in the second half that led India to a bitter and harsh loss. The continuous errors and lack of communication on the field came up with a great chance for the visitors to comeback and put down the hosts at their own den. Here are the five mistakes that India made against Tajakistan which caused the match.
Major Defensive Errors – A Horrific Tale :
A complete change in the defence seemed to be the biggest mistake done by India in their opening game in the Intercontinental Cup. Stimac brought in debutant Narendra Gahlot beside Adil Khan in the central back keeping ace defender Jhingan on the bench, initially it seemed to be a good move in order to make way for the emerging talents but the sweet turned to be not enough to overcome the bitter that the Indian defence suffered.
The gap between the defenders got wider from the initial minutes of the first half as Tajikistan continued their attack along the left flank trying to find the right man in their attacking third as they grabbed in a lot of set piece chances from the corner.
Gahlot failed to maintain the rapport with Adil as he was seen to play wide off his mark letting the visitors find crucial positions within the box which ultimately lead India concede back to back goals after the break. On the other hand another debutant Mandar Rao Desai turned quite sloth in his duty to reach the ball till the end as he allowed the ball to roll in creating chances for the visitors that they did not fail to turn fruit.
The defensive errors turned to be the most crucial points as it made the Indian team miss known and tested faces in Kotal and Jhingan on the field.
Lack Of Concentration And Game Plan After The Break – A Breakthrough For Tajikistan :
Lack of concentration haunted the Indian team all through the second half as they failed to come up with the composure that they started with.
Initially India started with a good compact passing game that saw the Blue Tigers playing much on the ground after a long time. The youth brigade in the offense including Sahal – Udanta – Changte along with Thapa and Amarjit in the middle made a good start as they fitted very well with Chhetri making the later score a brace within the half time. But the vibe started lacking after the break.
As the defensive screen started fumbling with Adil khan and co finding it hard to stop Tajikistan, leaving no chance for Sahal to build up the game from the back. It gradually turned to be an utter despair as the visitors took upon this chance, started penetration all through the Indian side leaving any scope for the hosts to cope up with the situation as they scored as many as four goals in the last forty five minutes.
GSS Not The Confident Indian Spider Man – A Man Out Of Form :
The harshness developed more deep as it was not only defenders who were failing in the back for India. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the last man of defence standing under the Indian post also had a bitter day as the 6 ft 5inch tall custodian failed to live up to the expectations for India.
The goalie seemed not to be in the best of forms as India conceded twice due to his school boyish mistake. First it was a nutmeg form Rahimov in the 71st minute followed by a misplaced and mistimed approach from Gurpreet in the 74th minute making Samiev score fourth goal for Tajikistan.
It was a complete turmoil for Indian defence as a communication gap was clearly visible between the defenders themselves and with the goal-keeper that need to be solved to bring back the confidence in the team’s approach.
Midfielders Failing To Act Defensively – Lack Of Natural Defensive Midfielder :
Though Sahal Abdul Samad, Anirudh Thapa and Amarjit Singh Kiyam played well in the midfield, Stimac surely missed someone to hold the game tight at the middle as India was lacking someone effective to defend and close down the gaps in the midfield as it turned quite easy for Tajikistan to move with the loose balls along the middle of the field. Not keeping Pronay Halder in the final 23 thus may cost India and Igor Stimac a lot in this tournament as they are lacking in the defence from the first game.
Experimentation With The Squad – A Dense Fog On The Field :
After his joining Igor Stimac has given a lot of emerging talents debut in the national colour which is surely a progressive idea for Indian football unlike the Constantine era. But the experimentation that Stimac is currently on seemed to make the results suffer as the Croatian has still not been able to find out the set of players who fit into his playing styles.
It’s natural that the evolution to a new style will be taking time but the unpredictable selections is surely checking the tolerance in the Indian football circuit which may have a bitter return on field hampering the team in it’s ultimate progress as the team is still not in a stable form to evolve.
Stimac Surely has started his job in a good note as he is continuously trying to make India play more on ground passes with high confidence but he still needs to work on his players so that he can transduce his game plan perfectly in to their brains making the game rightly imposed on field.