World Cup Qualifier: India score last-minute goal to pull off thrilling draw against Afghanistan, has mountain to climb in last match


India on Thursday scored a last-minute goal to pull off a thrilling draw against Afghanistan in the World Cup football qualifier as the match ended 1-1. Playing at Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe of Tajikistan, the Indians were put on the defensive for most part of the first half as Afghanistan displayed an aggressive style of football. Their perseverance paid off in the extra time of the first half as Zelly Nazary gave his side the much-needed lead.
World Cup

This brought the best out of Indians in the second half as they began to play with the much-needed purpose and launched a series of attacks. They were rewarded in the dying minutes of the game when Seminlen Doungel netted home by converting the superb corner kick by Brandon Fernandes. Both Doungel and Fernandes are teammates with FC Goa.

India would have desperately wanted a win since the men in blue have only been able to draw their last two encounters against Bangladesh (1-1) and Qatar (0-0). They had lost their first match of the qualifying campaign to Oman 1-2.

India are currently placed fourth in the Group E with three points. Qatar with 10 and Oman with 9 points are currently sitting comfortably on the top two positions. Afghanistan are placed third with 4 points.

Though India are still not out of the World Cup contention, they will have to win against Oman in their next encounter, which will be an uphill task.


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