India lose football friendly at home against Palestine

  • Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times, Siliguri
  • Updated: Oct 07, 2014 02:50 IST

Separated by 56 places in the Fifa rankings, India looked like they would give coach Wim Koevermans a fitting farewell before Palestine came back to win 3-2.

The bursts where India looked equal to Palestine would have been a positive for Koevermans.

Be it a long free-kick that he tipped over the bar or the dash at Ashraf Nu'man that denied Palestine a second goal in the 19th minute, Subrata Pal showed he still is India's best bet in goal.

The opportunism showed by players was another gain. While there were occasions when Robin Singh looked unsure of his role despite leading the line, medio Francis Fernandes showed being alert pays when he rounded Palestine goalkeeper Ramzi Saleh to put India ahead after Saleh spilled Lenny Rodriguez's shot.

Earlier, India had equalised through a goal from Sunil Chhetri when Abdallatif Albahdari's clearance took a deflection off the India captain to surprise Saleh.

The hosts started looking sharper in attack only after Chhetri switched from right to a more central role but that was after Palestine had taken the lead in the eighth minute through Ashraf Nu'man.

But India failed to keep the momentum in the second half, conceding the midfield to Palestine and that was where the match was won and lost.

The equaliser came when Wridat put a quick finishing touch to Nu'man's square pass after uncorking India's defence.

Then, Khader Abuhammad's long grounder took a deflection off central defender Arnab Mondal's outstretched leg. With that went Koevermans' chance of bowing out with a flourish after 27 months as India coach.

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