Asian Cup 2011: India 0-4 Australia - Routine Win For Aussies But India Does Put Up A Fight
India conceded three in the first period but only one in the second and nearly scored a late consolation goal through Sunil Chhetri.
For the Aussies, Tim Cahill bagged a brace while Harry Kewell and Brett Holman scored one each.
India started with Mohammed Rafi upfront alongside Sunil Chhetri with Surkumar Singh and Deepak Mandal operating as the two wing backs. Mile Jedinak was awarded a place in the first eleven alongside Harry Kewell to form the front two for the Socceroos.
Expectedly so, it was the Aussies who started on a brighter note though every clearance by an Indian player was met by cheers by the assembled crowd inside the Al Saad Stadium.
It took only eleven minutes for the Holger Osieck’s men to find a breakthrough as Brett Emerton broke free on the right to deliver a low cross at the near post which was well finished by Tim Cahill.
N.P.Pradeep did manage to get a shot on target for India but hits it straight at Mark Schwarzer while Syed Nabi lays the ball for Climax Lawrence to shoot from outside the box but the Indian midfielder wastes the golden opportunity which came his way.
Harry Kewell doubled the scoreline midway through the first half after being allowed too much time on the ball as his left footed shot didn’t give Subrata Paul any chance of coming anywhere near the ball.
India had a couple of free-kicks which Steven Dias couldn’t really produce any magic and neither were the Indians very ambitious given that only four players were inside the opposition box.
Subrata Paul showed his class as he intercepted several crosses from the Australian wingers Emerton and Wilkshire and the third goal India conceded was probably the first time in the game that he did miss an aerial ball.
It was Emerton once again given acres of space by Deepak Mandal to cross and the Blackburn star didn’t disappoint as his cross was headed home by Holman.
The second session started pretty much in the same fashion as the first as Australia continued their dominance over the proceedings while India struggled to get the ball out of their own half.
Emerton was fed with a pinpoint cross by Cahill from the left but the former’s volley just about missed the target by not much in the 57th minute.
Bob Houghton was forced to change his strategy and introduce two physically strong players in Mehrajuddin Wadoo and Abhishek Yadav in place of N.P.Pradeep, who looked out of steam and Mohammed Rafi.
Luke Wilkshere’s delivery from a dead ball situation saw the 178 cm tall Cahill put his head to good use as Anwar and Abhishek couldn’t avert the danger around the hour mark.
Cahill could have had his hat-trick as he jumped over Abhishek Yadav from a corner-kick in the 78th minute but the weak header was well collected by the alert Subrata Paul.
Renedy Singh had some space on the left and the winger delivered an inch perfect cross which Chhetri couldn’t meet in the 84th minute.
On receiving a long pass from inside his own half from Renedy Singh, Chhetri got Australia off hand with Sasa Ognenovski doing enough to allow Mark Schwarzer to gather the ball safely.
Australia next face South Korea and will take on the field with load of confidence while India must take heart from their performance as they didn’t fall flat as people expected them to.