India brushed past 10-man Bhutan to start their new campaign with a win

Tigers pumped 3 goals within 25 minutes to brush past the little ones of Asian football. Goals from Sumit passi (2’), Jeje(19’) and Holicharan Narzary (21’) sealed the fate of game early enough in what was to be an expected result. India dominated the entire game with uneven performance creeping in other side of the half. Despite the expected result, there were various encouraging factors for both teams to take away.

India started the first half with an attacking mindset with both Jeje and Passi at top with Jackichand and Holicharan Narzary at the flanks. But it was the home side, which had the opportunity to draw the first blood. Bhutan’s all time leading scorer Chencho got past the Indian defense in the very first minute with just the onrushing Keeper Subrata paul to beat, chencho chipped the ball wide of the post. That mistake proved to be costly as the Indians quickly gathered it senses and got on the score sheet in the next minute. A quick throw in from the right in Bhutan half resulted in a shot inside the Bhutan Box where an onrushing Sumit Passi managed to get his header directed into the goal at near post.

Lively Jackichand Singh managing the right flank became the provider for the next goal, when he took a long ball from another performer of the day pronay halder to cut the ball inside and towards the far post for Jeje, who got free of his marker to finish of a good move with a smart finish. Two minutes later, it was once again Pronay at the right flank, passing it to Jeje who squared it up for an onrushing Narzary. Narzary finished it off by smashing the ball to the left corner of the keeper to make it 3-0. After that few more opportunities came across for team one of which came for passi at half hour mark, when a miscued a shot after receiving it from Narzary. Chencho seemed to be like the Bhutan’s lone warrior as he lost number of his forward runs with ball, due to lack of support from his teammates. His best opportunity came at the end of first half when he failed to connect an header to a move he initiated in his own half.

As expected Constantine didn’t lose any opportunity to test his new ones, after sensing that the game was in hand, he made series of changes at half time, Bringing in Germanpreet, Issac and Chinglesana to replace Aibor, Hali and Ganesh Dhanachandran. This resulted in the Indian team losing its steam, despite the home team going down to 10 men after a bad challenge by Gurung against Halder. The Indian attack began to wither at the end as they failed to add any more goals to the tally.

Issac looked lively on the field but failed to put finishing touches as he miscued number of shorts, while Jeje was denied by the post, Sumit got his header kept away by the keeper. In the mean time few more changes were made with Vinit rai coming in for Borges.

One of the biggest positive that coach Constantine managed was to get valuable game time for debutants Vinit, Germanpreet, Kaushik, Issac and Konsham, which will only help them for future. Also getting goals under their belt will only boost the morale’s for Sumit passi and Holicharan Narzary. Bhutan would be happy with their performances as well, especially with their after they were reduced to ten men in the second half. After conceding three goals in first 25 minutes, Bhutan pulled up their socks and defended like a rock, but failed to capitalize on their few occasional counterattacks.

Despite a promising first half by the blue tigers, failure to capitalize in the second half resulted in the match ending at the same half time score of 3-0. With all the positives picked up from the game, there are still some areas that the team could work on before the more important game against Puerto Rico.

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