India took on Iran in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Preliminary Joint Qualification Game at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. But the result will not make the Indian football fans happy as the hosts suffered a humiliating 0-3 defeat in the hands of Iran.
India coach Stephen Constantine had recently said that their opponents have an upper hand and Iran did outclass the Indians.
India started off well in the game. One would believe that the hosts did not give up but they went down fighting against the Asian powerhouse.
In the first half of the match, Indian players looked composed and oragnised, but they were beaten by pace and class of the Iranian footballers.
India skipper Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua shared a good spell of passing in the first quarter of the match but they could not create any chances whatsoever. Instead the Iranian were on the attack every other moment and posed a threat for India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The first goal came in the 27th minute when Iran got a free-kick from a dangerous position. Sardar Azmoun found the back of the net. After this goal, Robin Singh and Sunil Chhetri did create a number of chances but all of them went begging. At half time, the score was 1-0.
Right after the start of the second half, Iranian skipper Andranik Teymourian made it 2-0. Three minutes later Mehdi Taremi made it 3-0 and it looked all over for India.
There was no coming back from there. But the Indian players tried hard to keep the Iranian defence on the edge till the end of the game. Sandesh Jhinghan was impressive as well but if you can't convert the chances into goals then there is no point. India came really close to scoring when Chhetri's shot went inches over the Iranian bar in the 60th minute and later Jeje failed to convert a flick from Chhetri.
India have previously lost both their World Cup qualifying games against Guam and Oman in the month of June. They had a moutainous task ahead of them when they took on Iran who are placed 40th in the FIFA World Rankings list. India are currently placed in 155th position in that list.
The dream of 1.24 billion people yet again is going to be crashed as India have now lost three of their World Cup qualifying matches against Guam, Oman and Iran.