A video purportedly showing a man locking up supporters of the Indian football team in a birdcage ahead of a crucial match with the UAE has gone viral, prompting the UAE authorities to arrest several persons, reports said Friday.
Ali Ahmed Mabkhout (88') scored for the home team, entering the game in some desperation after a 1-1 stalemate with Bahrain in the tournament opener.
There aren't many changes which can be expected in India's side for this game, but Chhetri will hold the key if India has to create history. "Earlier we would have been happy about this 2-0 loss with such a performance", Indian coach Stephen Constantine told the media after the game. "Hopefully we can get the point we need to qualify for the next stage, that would be massive for Indian football".
The Blue Tigers missed three big chances in the first half and while they created opportunities after the break too, India were denied on two occasions by the framework.
Sandesh Jhingan's free header off a corner by Anirudh Thapa, which was won by Pritam Kotal, went off target.
UAE drew their first match against Bahrain 1-1 on the opening day of the tournament. However, India began from where they had left and pinned UAE on the back foot in the second.
UAE midfielder Majed Hassan attempts to tackle India forward Udanta Singh. UAE who drew against Bahrain, denied India a chance to secure qualification with their 2-0 win on January 10.
Tempers flared when Jehad Al-Baour pulled back Suleiman during play and a shoving match developed on the touchline, egged on by the crowd. It's now up to the players to regroup and keep delivering such performances on a consistent basis.
"We have to pick ourselves up and get ready for the next game". Blue Tigers fans will be hoping their main man will be on form for the UAE tonight! The players will get only better from here. It will also suit India better as they will be the automatic table toppers from the group.
Vital Borkelmans' team, who stunned defending champions Australia in their first game, could soon be joined in the last 16 by surprise package India, who face hosts UAE later in Group A.