HomeSportsIndia vs Sri Lanka, SAFF Championship 2021 LIVE Updates: Blue Tigers Fail...

India vs Sri Lanka, SAFF Championship 2021 LIVE Updates: Blue Tigers Fail to Score in 1st Half

Igor Stimac has made a few changes in defence from the previous game but there is no conventional centre-back in the starting line-up. The Indian men’s football team will be eyeing their first of the tournament when they take on Sri Lanka in their second game in Male, Maldives on Thursday.

India are coming into the game after a disappointing 1-1 draw against 10-man Bangladesh. Sunil Chhetri found the back of the net to give India the lead in the match but they were pressurised extremely well in the midfield by Bangladesh and ended up conceding a goal. India were guilty of not asserting themselves and allowing Bangladesh to create moves after moves.

The Blue Tigers head coach Igor Stimac has come under fire for India’s failure to win enough matches in the recent past but he seemed unfazed by the criticism in the pre-match press conference.

Despite the loss against Bangladesh, India can afford to fancy their chances against the lower ranked Sri Lankans who have struggled throughout the competition, losing both of their games so far while conceding four goals and scoring two.

Chhetri is just one goal shy of the iconic Pele in terms of international goals scored and a struggling Sri Lanka will be a great opportunity for him to scale yet another landmark in his illustrious career.

After the disappointment against plucky Bangladesh, Stimac said “we are ourselves guilty for not winning the match.”

“We had everything in control, we dominated the game, and had a one-nil advantage, and even had a one-man advantage.

“But despite all of that, for some unknown reasons, we started giving away simple passes, making unnecessary mistakes. And if you boost the confidence of your opponent, that’s how it finishes when you give them a chance,” Stimac said.

The chief coach is using the tournament as the last opportunity for the players to play international matches before the start of the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in February next year.

India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and hosts the Maldives as the five participating nations. Pakistan and Bhutan are not playing the championship this time. Due to Bhutan’s reluctance to allow players for International travels and Pakistan’s suspension by FIFA, the number of teams in the championship has reduced.

As a result, there is a change in the format. The qualification method is now changed to a round-robin format, where the top two teams will be progressing to the finals.

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