Turkmenistan got past India with a 2-1 scoreline in their fourth Preliminary Joint Qualification match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Thursday at the Köpetdag Stadium in Ashgabat tonight.
India still remain sans a point from Group D of the qualifiers after losing all of their four matched -- against Oman, Guam, Iran and now Turkmenistan.
Jeje provided the only consolation for the away side, but that wasn't enough to snatch even a point, as the home side scored in either half to get the win.
Stephen Constantine's side started the game with some momentum, as Francis Fernandes took an early shot on the goal, which nearly proved to be the opener India needed. The shot just whizzed past the post.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu started the game for India, ahead of Subrata Paul, in goal, but the Stabæk custodian could not keep up to the incessant attacking intent from the home side, as Guvanch Abylov made it 1-0 for Turkmenistan just under ten minutes.
However, India never gave up hope, and in the next minute, they came up with a powerful counter-attack with Sunil Chhetri taking a shot on goal. However, unfortunately, his shot was blocked by the defence.
The constant momentum put on by India finally bore fruit as Jeje Lalpekhlua capitalised on an mistake by the Turkmenistan goalkeeper, and lobbed the ball over to slot it home.
Jeje remained a formidable man in the attack as he combined well with Chhetri to nearly snatch a lead before the half, and even Pritam Kotal tried a spectacular shot from at least 35 yards out, with the ball going high and over the post.
The second half was a bit more mellowed, but it was the home fans who were celebrating once more in the 66th minute. Amanov comfortably slotted home for Turkmenistan to make it 2-1.
But that didn't lower the morale of the away side. Constantine's side kept coming in and two minutes later, Jeje tried another shot on goal -- this time a powerful header -- only to force another safe catch from the Turkmenistan custodian.
There was another heartbreak for Indian football fans as mercurial striker Robin Singh missed a sitter from a one-on-one situation in the 85th minute, and that summed up the day for India.