KOLKATA, October 15: A last-gasp Adil Khan header saved the blushes for India, who played their worst game of the campaign, as the home side played out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday.
Saad Uddin gave Bangladesh the lead in the 42nd minute and the visitors looked like going back home with all the three points in the Group E match of World Cup qualifying second round match.
Adil Khan, however, ensured that India at least secure a point from the home match as he rose highest to nod home a Brandon
Fernandes corner kick in the 88th minute. A defeat at home would have severely dented India’s hopes of advancing in the next round.
India had lost to Oman 1-2 in their opening match before holding Asian champions Qatar to a goal-less draw in their previous match.
They now have two points from three matches, while Bangladesh stay at the bottom with one point from three games.
Bangladesh were the more organised and penetrating side as they put up a spirited show against India who were backed by a fullcapacity crowd at the Saltlake Stadium.
Inspirational captain Sunil Chhetri was not at his best as also goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who kept at bay the marauding
Qataris in the memorable drawn game in Doha.
Gurpreet misjudged the flight of the ball to let in the Bangladesh’s goal to the stunning silence of the packed 65,000-plus crowd.
It was Rahul Bheke who conceded a freekick on the left and Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuyan curled it in to the far post where Gurpreet missed the flight completely and Saad Uddin finished it with a diving header.
Ranked 83 places below India, Bangladesh looked more threatening and could have easily doubled the lead in the 54th minute when the right winger Mohammad Ibrahim’s shot hit the crosspiece.
India woke up from their slumber only late in the second half, making a flurry of chances but then Bangladesh defence gave a good account of themselves with Ibrahim making a goal-line clearance from Anas Edathodika’s header.
In the 88th minute, Adil Khan equalised, a minute after Chhetri’s shot was deflected. Brandon set it up with an accurate corner and Adil found it near the post to find the goal. (PTI)