September 27, Kathmandu. India has scored just two goals in 270 minutes in the ongoing SAAF Championship 2021 in Maldives.
India is ranked 107th in world football. The team has played in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal so far. Bangladesh is ranked 189th, Sri Lanka 205th and Nepal 167th in the FIFA rankings. Even though all three countries are below 150 places in the rankings, India is struggling to score with all of them.
More importantly, the two goals that India scored in this tournament were scored by 37-year-old striker Sunil Chhetri. Known as the Blue Tiger, India is now toothless and clearly under pressure.
India’s game against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka lacked innovation and skill. However, there was some improvement against Nepal.
India creates chances by playing well in the beginning but haven’t been able to convert them into results. The game with Nepal was very bad for the region. He missed two beautiful scoring opportunities against Nepal. However, he improved himself and scored the winning goal.
Manveer Singh also struggled on the field for 90 minutes, but Rohit Chand did not give him a chance to move forward. In fact, he was thrown off the field when India needed a goal and was replaced by Udant Singh. He has scored only three goals in 24 matches so far. His target ratio is also 0.12.
Another player from the Indian team, Farooq Choudhary, handed a pass to Sunil Chhetri in the Nepal game. However, their target ratio is only 0.07. He has also scored just one goal. He scored in a friendly match against Nepal.
So it will not be an exaggeration to say that the Indian team is now fighting for a goal. India’s forward has not done well, Chhetri has not been able to show any magic against Maldives and it is very difficult for India to score against this team.
Was it good in Constantine’s time?
Under the leadership of British coach Stephen Constantine, India played 43 matches and scored 77 goals. Constantine left the Indian team in 2019.
During his tenure, India scored 1.79 goals in each game. The team at that time was stronger than it is now. However, it should not be forgotten that JJ Llepekhlua was in the team at that time. He scored 24 goals in Constantine’s time alone.
After his injury, India could not find any goal scorer in his place. So India is struggling to score.
Apart from Chhetri and Llepekhlua, India has not got any other important player. Apart from him, no other player has scored five international goals. Another special thing is that these players are doing very well for their club in the domestic league.