India secured a narrow 1-0 win vs Bangladesh in their second fixture of the ongoing Asian Games 2023, at the Xiaoshan Sports Centre in Hangzhou, on Thursday. The win helped India get their campaign back on track after losing 1-5 vs China in their Group A opener. The first half ended goalless as India couldn't capitalize on chances, in particular a triple save by opposition goalkeeper Mitul.
In the second half, the match looked like it would end goalless after Samuel Kynshi's free-kick hit the crossbar. The Blue Tigers' skipper wasn't convinced. Sunil Chhetri converted the penalty to give India a deserving lead in the 85th minute. Igor Stimac's side managed to keep hold of their lead and bagged a crucial win, which will keep them in contention for the knockouts.
India were the clear favourites before coming into the game against Bangladesh. They also needed something to reply to the doubters who doubted them based on recent performances. India lost their first fixture by 1-5 to China and the reasons were obvious. China are a far better side in terms of qualities. India also didn't get the chance to train themselves after reaching Hangzhou. But they looked fresh against Bangladesh right from the start. India created a lot of opportunities for themselves.
Despite creating chances, The Blue Tigers couldn't deliver in the first half. Bangladesh looked helpless except for their keeper Mitul, who saved plenty of shots from going in. The first half ended goalless. India knew they had to break the deadlock somehow, otherwise, it would be complicated for them to qualify for the knockouts.
India had an early chance to take the lead in the second half. Rahul KP missed the trajectory of the cross that came inside the box as he headed it the other way. It was still 0-0 after 60 minutes into the game. The match looked like it would end goalless after Samuel Kynshi's free-kick hit the crossbar.
In the 85th minute, left winger Bryce Miranda received a long pass on the edge of the opposition box. The winger was fouled by Bangladesh captain Rahmat Mia and India were awarded a penalty. Captain Sunil Chhetri stepped up and slotted it in the bottom-left corner as India took a late 1-0 lead. It was the captain again who took the responsibility of scoring to grind out the result. It was not a convincing win but the Blue Tigers will take it for sure.