India were held into some 1-1 draw by Syria within their closing Intercontinental Cup game in Ahmedabad on Tuesday. Having lost both their past games to Tajikistan and North Korea, India were already out of contention for a place in the last while Syria had a win to arrive.
India played a lot of this match with much more cohesion than they demonstrated in the past two games, each of which exposed defensive frailties for new trainer Igor Stimac to fix. Both sides exchanged blows for what turned out for a first half.
From the right, Anirudh Thapa delivered At the 51st minute. Gahlot climbed over the rest and headed the ball and scored his first goal in his next global outing.
India appeared to be at the top. While opportunities were few and far in between, India dominated possession in midfield and maintained the pressure on the Syrians.
But this changed after a somewhat rash speech by Jerry Lalrinzuala, who’d substituted Mandar Rao Desai just a couple of minutes before, compelled the Army to offer Syria a punishment. Firas made no mistake and awakened.
India lived dangerously then and watched waves off of Syrian strike to acquire a stage in the conclusion of the game.