BENGALURU: Facing their third straight defeat in FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifiers, India was put out of the contest by Iran as the home team conceded three goals against none at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Tuesday.
After losing their first two qualifiers against Oman and Guan, the Indian team played against the mighty Asian team – Iran, ranked at 40th place in FIFA.
Iran scored their first goal at 29th minute, when Sardar Azmoun scored a header through free-kick.
For almost all part of the match, Indian mid-field was almost left unused, while Jeje Lalpeklua and Singh played upfront. The rest of the players took to defence and certainly it worked out well until the first half.
In their attempt to break through the defensive Indian side during the first half, Andranik Teymourian’s men had to be content with 1-0, but the visitors scored two more goals within the first five minutes of the second half – Andrenik Teymourian (46th minute) and Mehdi Teremi (49th minute), netting one each.
With two changes in the team, India chose to call up Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in place of Subrata Paul as a Goalkeeper and Arnab Mondal was named for Francis Fernandes.
Chhetri and his men are not to be blamed for giving up, but standing at the 155th rank in FIFA, it clearly showed that they lacked a few or more techniques against highly qualified teams.
Under the shadow of defeat and worry, it is clear that India lost all their chances to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. India will be facing Turkmenistan on October 8 which is scheduled off-home.