India missed the chances that came their way to settle for a goalless draw with Lebanon in the Intercontinental Cup football tournament here on Thursday.
Continuing with his policy to make wholesome changes to his starting XI, head coach Igor Stimac benched a number of seniors including striker Sunil Chhetri and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
Defensive linchpin Sandesh Jhingan wore the captain’s armband in Chhetri’s absence.
The result however did not matter as both teams had already sealed their places in the final of the four-nation tournament. Mongolia and Vanuatu were the two other teams taking part in the event.
Introduced in the 82nd minute, Chhetri received a perfect delivery from Anirudh Thapa but the India captain could not find the back of the net.
Not the result we wanted, but we’ll see them again in 3️⃣ days ⚔️👊🏽 #INDLBN ⚔️ #HeroIntercontinentalCup 🏆 #IndianFootball ⚽️ #BlueTigers 🐯 pic.twitter.com/MJVq1wLNBe
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 15, 2023
It would have been 1-0 India within the first five minutes of the game but, after being set up by Lallianzuala Chhangte and with just the opposition goalkeeper to beat, Anirudh Thapa missed a sitter on the fourth minute. All he could do was shoot the ball away.
Then, almost 20 minutes into the match, another chance was wasted as Ashique Kuruniyan hit the ball straight to the Lebanese goalkeeper after a good ball inside the box.
The two missed chances from India meant the teams went into the half-time break goalless.Advertisement
It pretty much continued in the same way in the second half, which also saw the floodlights going off for a couple of minutes, as both teams failed to failed to find the target.
Hoping to break the deadlock, both India and Lebanon rang in a few changes, but to no avail as the score remained unchanged till the final whistle.
India had kicked off their campaign with a 2-0 win over Mongolia last Friday before beating Vanuatu 1-0 three days later on Monday.Also Read‘Can’t understand why coming here would damage Henderson’s legacy and Mes...Watch: Cristiano Ronaldo looks bemused after being snubbed for player of ...Jose Mourinho substitutes Roma player, forces his own team to play with 1...Neymar set for Saudi move after Al Hilal agree near-USD100M transfer fee ...Advertisement
Lebanon too had started with a victory, beating Vanuatu 3-1 before playing out a goalless draw against Mongolia on Monday.