IND Vs COL : The silver lining in the losing cause – as it happened

IND vs COL

THE NEW BEGINNING ?

“When a society emphasizes something, by custom or mandate , results will follow”- Gary Kasparov quoted in his book Deep Thinking. If Kasparov with such conceit has as statement to make then AIFF wont be far from its dream converting India into a football nation following it. IND Vs COL – Welcome banners and the stadium upheavals throughout the cities hosting the football world cup was in itself a motivating gesture.

This bunch of teens playing for the country for the fist time in a World cup, have done more than justice to the belief that AIFF and government put on them. This time it would be grabbing not just the 2 billion eyes of the nation but also the international teams with far more professional exposure to the game .The title ‘sleeping giant’ has been quite a synonym for Indian team for some time. The knock on its door by the Colombian team could be its awakening though.

Yesterday, the Indian team donning its blue jersey were ready for there second world league match at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium , Delhi. The team had a responsibility to adhere to the promise made by there coach De Matos of a harder fight for the result after their defeat to the USA 2 days before. The Indian team had made some significant changes after the loss. Significant of them being the star forward Komal Thatal who happens to be the only Indian to have score against Brazil in internationals and Aniket Jadhav were not starting for the team.

FIRST HALF

The start of the half witnessed some energetic defensive game stimulated by the ever supporting crowd of the stadium. Indian was lacking it’s efficacy of defense. Losing out on physical banter against most of the Colombian forwards especially the mighty striker Penaloza. This could be the reason it needed 9 players in defense. It was quite evident that the Indian boys in the midfield was leading redundancy in implementation of game strategy. Rahim was the lone ranger hunting the goals while the rest crowded the post in defensive duties.

The 1st real chance was witnessed from the low shot by Abhijit Sarkar being saved by Colombian goalkeeper Kevin Mier.
On the other hand Dheeraj, the flamboyant Indian keeper never let the team down with his fierce dives leting the Columbian delve into it’s tactics . Resilience of Indian defense and unpredictable counter attacks had put Columbian side in situations it never had in its calculations to register its 1st win in the league. The second real chance came for the Indian side at 45′, incredulous attempt only resulting to woodwork for Rahul Kannoly. There was much to ponder upon after this half on a positive note compared to the previous game that India played.

Columbia dominating, 68% possession of the ball ,posing same number of shots on target as to India was a paradox in itself proving India’s improvements to its last game. It seemed the 4-2-3-1 formation working for India rather than 4-4-1-1 played against the US. Dheeraj made 4 saves in 1st half, donning a world class show. The first major save coming at 17′ and the last being at 36′, earned him a standing ovation from the crowd in JNS, New Delhi.

SECOND HALF

Columbia did well with covering the field at the start itself, nevertheless getting the results in form of its 1st goal at 49′. India lost its composure and left J Penalosa in solitude to let him take a shot in target finding the nets. India needed to flex its defense rather than being localized. It made few reckless attempts and lost possession quite few times further to add on its agony. It wasn’t late yet at 82nd minute when India got a set piece in form of a corner. Thounaojam Jackson scored the historic 1st goal for the Indian team at world cup with a header only to be dived but missed by the Colombian goalkeeper. It was ecstasy and cheers all over the crowd and among the young team.

IND vs COL
India’s Jackson Thounaojam celebrates with his teammates after scoring India’s goal against Colombia

Indian team was still halfway into their celebration in its short lived glory. When Columbia went all its way to take a lead once again with Penaloza’s impeccable finish at 83rd minute. This time Dheeraj being the only threat for Penezola for goal to be scored . This had to come as the boys were in mid of their 1st world cup goal celebrations. And conceding a goal would never have been so agonizing.

Can India fight its way back? The story changed in the second half the only thing being same was the outstanding keeping by Dheeraj shuffling. His skills of aggressive and submissive styles . As the injury time of the game approached. India continued to create chances but never could finish like the Colombian side did . India faced the second defeat of the league at scoreline of 1-2 against the Colombian side. But there were several positives to take through as there were flaws to sit back and analyse.

RISE

Despite the second loss with added on the relegation woes, this Sanguine crowd of Jawaharlal Nehru stadium lauded the trailing team whatever situation came till the very last minute of the game. This might be the rise of the game not finding its share of fame.

It was Disappointing to concede the second goal after the brave saves. But the team did every bit to keep up to the promise made their coach to fight back in the next game after the disappointing loss against the USA. The best part being the coach getting his returns for the hard work. The coach applauded his boys for the efforts and why not. He got everything that a parent expects of a kid at his first job. The team was too excited after scoring which led to their lapse of concentration of holding the opposition. Colombian coach Orlando Restrepo too lauded India’s performance. And said the host should be proud of their fighting spirit. So are the fans cheering on the stadium or across the streets.

Every successful team has to make its start, coming out of a moribund state. This team being the torchbearer of India’s football fraternity needs to get that future. Also which the colonial sport of cricket has been enjoying since a decade or more.
What if we didn’t make it to the knockout.? the nerves that the young team held and the belief of unity and hard work that the team posed in the very short period of training will mark the beginning of a new era for Indian football.

YOUR SAY

Its was significant result when Columbia lost the match against Ghana. Even after sustainig 59% possession the very same day India faced its first defeat against the USA. Seems as though Columbia lacks the conversion rates there. This could be one reason leading to less number of attempts on goal for Columbia against India. Other than India playing much better than it played against USA.

Comparing the two matches that our side played what could be plausible reason of a narrow defeat.
A. Usa playing better as a team against India compared to Columbia
B. Ind changing its game to be more aggressive compared to the last game.
C. It was India’s game, a bad day to loose.
D. Any other reason

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