Sharjah, January 14: India crashed out of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 after a cruel 1-0 defeat at the hands of Bahrain on Monday at the Al Sharjah stadium in Sharjah.
The Blue Tigers delivered a resilient display to keep the match goalless for most of the game and looked to have done enough to secure progression.
But a penalty from Jamal Rashed in the 90th minute ended India's hopes of reaching the knockout stages for the very first time in history.
India were dealt a shock in the 90th minute when Pronay Halder brought down Hamed Alshamsan. Rashed stepped and coolly converted to break the Indian hearts.
India suffered an early setback when Anas Edathodika had to be substituted in the fourth minute due to an injury. Despite the change, India stood firm at the back and denied their opponents space and time on the ball.
As it happened:
Full Time: How cruel for India to lose it at the very end. The result meant they finish bottom of the group. After weathering the storm for close to 90 minutes, Pronay's mistimed challenge cost India.
90' PENALTYYY! for Bahrain. Pronay the culprit for India. The skipper solid until he brought down the Bahrain attacker.
Three minutes plus added time now for India to hold on and progress to the next round. Bahrain, meanwhile will be packing their bags as it stands.
85' Gurpreet makes a brilliant save to keep Bahrain out from a corner. After a nervy start, the Indian shot-stopper has grown into the game and has made some good saves.
Under ten minutes to go and as it stands India go through to the last 16.
78' Bahrain make their third change as they chase the game. While, India throw on Thapa to try and control the game.
75' Indian defence manages to keep out the free-kick which was struck from close range. But, its time India get hold of the ball as its all been Bahrain in attack.
73' Controversial decision against India. Subashish's touch is wrongly judged as a back pass, which has led to an indirect freekick for Bahrain.
71' Bahrain go inches away from taking the lead as the Indian defence is found sleeping. The Reds are knocking on the Indian goal and look like breaching it soon.
64' India break on the counter and Udanta is fouled just outside the box. This also led to the first yellow card of the night. The resultant set-piece was wasted by the Blue Tigers.
61' Bahrain make their second change as Romaihi makes way for Abdulla Yusuf Helal. The reds search for a goal which will send them through. As it stands they are heading out.
As we approach the hour mark, here is how the group will finish as it stands.
55' Bahrain make their first change and surprisingly Ali Madan makes his way out.
50' Just like the first half, Bahrain have been all over India, who have somehow kept the scoreline at 0-0.
Second half is under way and Bahrain will look to attack as India will look to hit on the counter with their pace up front. India have made another change as Jeje starts the half in place of Ashique.
Half Time: India 0 Bahrain 0: Sandesh Jhingan has helped India weather the storm, Bahrain will come out on the attack again after the break. Despite Thailand equalising against UAE, as it stands India will finish second in the group.
2 minutes added to the first half and its still deadlocked at 0-0 in Sharjah.
40' Still 0-0 in Sharjah, but Thailand have equalised against UAE. As it stands, India still will finish second in Group A.
35' Miscommunication at the back led to a Bahrain corner, but India survive as the Reds again opt for a short corner, which results to nothing in the end.
30' Bahrain as it stands will be heading out of the AFC Asian Cup. India will finish second.
25' India have wasted two set-piece opportunities. Rowllin Borges' delivery has been little poor. Bahrain, meanwhile, are seeing less of the ball after threatening to score in the opening ten minutes.
20' India have slowly found their feet after waves of early attack from Bahrain. It's still 0-0 in Sharjah.
Sandesh Jingan has been like a rock at the back for India, but he too has gone down now for what seems to be a knock. He, however is back on his feet.
13' Great chance for India, but Ashique's close range header is not accurate.
Bahrain have been on the attack, but India have some good news from UAE vs Thailand as the hosts have taken the lead there.
GOAL ⚽! 7' Ali Mabkhout scores an early goal for the hosts following a rebound from the crossbar!— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 14, 2019
🇦🇪 UAE 1 - 0 THA 🇹🇭 pic.twitter.com/JoZCvndZap
8' Nervy start from India especially from Gurpreet and Bahrain have the ball in the back of the net only for it to be ruled out for offside.
2' India suffer blow as Anas seems to be injured. And the defender is substituted. India forced into an early change as Anas goes off due to injury and is replaced by Salam Ranjan Singh.
And we are away, India are in traditional blue, while Bahrain are in white.
Its almost time for kick off as both the teams line up for the national anthems at the Sharjah Stadium.
Pronay Halder leads the Indian team out today. Its the third captain in three games for India.
Although a draw is enough for them to progress, India head coach Stephen Constantine says they will not sit back. He also says it is important for them to get a result rather than depend on Thailand vs UAE result.
Sunil Chhetri equals former skipper Bhaichung Bhutia's record of highest appearances for India at 107 each
Bahrain XI: Hashem, Juma, Hayam, Shamsan, Isa, Safi, Aswad, Saeed, Rashid, Madan, Romaihi
Team News: India make one change Anirudh Thapa makes way for Rowllin Borges. India XI: Gurpreet, Pritam, Anas, Jhingan, Subasish, Udanta, Pronay, Rowllin, Narzary, Ashique, Chhetri
Just under an hour away from kick off and we'll have team news in a bit. Stephen Constantine named Gurpreet as the captain in Thailand game and Chhetri was named skipper in the defeat to UAE. So, it will be interesting to see who leads the team this time out.
In their last and only Asian Cup meeting in 2011, India lost 5-2 to Bahrain in the group stages. So, India will be out for revenge and will look to deliver the knock out blow to the Reds.
With three points from two matches, India know they just need a draw against Bahrain to confirm their spot in the next stage of the competition.
The #BlueTigers face Bahrain 🇧🇭 tonight in their last match of the group stage— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) January 14, 2019
Kick off at 9:30PM - IST ⏰🙌🏽
Stay tuned for more updates!#BackTheBlue #AsianDream #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/Qz30r2pNbe
Welcome to the live updates of AFC Asian Cup 2019 Group A clash between Bharain and India, who eye history in the competition.