Monday, August 26, 2013

National team ends camp, continues to display a lacklustre performance

What could have been an exciting match between the Indian national team and an I-League team, ended in some off-the-field drama and very average performance.

National team started with Subrata Paul on goal and Sandesh Jhingan and Arnab Mondal on central defense, they looked tentative from the beginning. Bengaluru FC started with all four foreigners, John Johnson and Curtis Osano in defense, Johnny Menyongar in central midfield, and Sean Rooney in striking position. 

Diminutive Thoi Singh from Bengaluru FC was the most impressive in first half, his penetrating run in the attacking third kept the Indian defenders busy. A brilliant thru pass from one of such run almost gave Bengaluru FC their first goal, Asian import Sean Rooney's shot was cleared off the line by Sandesh Jinghan. 

After continuously pressurizing Indian defense, the goal finally came in the 32nd minute when Siam Hanghal was brought down by Sandesh inside the box, Liberian medio Menyongar made no mistake in converting the penalty to a goal. (1-0). 

Bengaluru FC pretty much dominated the first half whereas the National team had a below average game. India showed some urgency only after the lemon break, with striker Jeje Lalpekhlua playing a patient game and making some good moves. India equalized from a brilliant right-footed goal by substitute Lenny Rodrigues in 49th minute 1-1. 

Later, the starting lineup players of both the teams were replaced as the coach decided to test the reserve strength, but their efforts yielded no result. 

Johnny Menyongar scores from a penalty