New Delhi, 26 September: India drew 1-1 with Myanmar to finish second in  Group A   in the Asian Games football tournament to move into the knockout round at Sports Centre Stadium in Hangzhou, China. 

India’s secured second-place in the group with four points from three games. Myanmar finished with the same number of points but were third in the standings based on goals scored (India - 3, Myanmar - 2). Hosts China won the four-team group with seven points.

Sunil Chhetri (23’) scored the goal for India while Yan Kyaw Htwe (74’) netted for Myanmar.

Indian had earlier defeated Bangladesh 1-0 after losing 5-1 to China in the opener.

Indian, 102nd in FIFA Rankings, will face Group B runner ups Saudi Arabia in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday.

india and the Myanmar  started the match on an even footing, battling for possession in the middle of the pitch. 

As the match progressed, Myanmar upped the ante and began to put pressure on the Indian defence with long balls into the box.

India, however, took the lead against the run of play in the 24th minute. Rahim Ali was tackled in the box by a Myanmar player and the referee pointed towards the spot. 

Captain Sunil Chhetri stepped up and drilled it past the Myanmar goalkeeper Zin Nyi Nyi Aung to make it 1-0.

Stung by the goal, Myanmar pushed more men forward in search of an equaliser but the Indian defence, led by veteran centre-back Sandesh Jinghan, stood firm and thwarted any danger.
 
India started the second half on a bright note with half-time substitute Gurkirat Singh and Rahim Ali getting two opportunities to double the lead for their team. However, both failed to get past the Myanmar custodian.

Myanmar, meanwhile, kept building up the pressure on India's defence and managed to draw parity with a quarter left in the match.

Substitute Yan Kyaw Htwe headed past Indian goalkeeper Dheeraj Singh to make it 1-1 for Myanmar.

Following the goal, the Indian defended deep and held out for a draw to progress to the knockout stages.

-----------------------------Advertisement------------------------------------

must read