Philem Dipak Singh
Doha, Jan 14 (PTI) India were trailing 1-4 at the halftime against Bahrain in their second group match of the AsianCup football tournament here today.
Bahrain striker Ismaeel Abdul Latif scored thetournament''s first hat-trict, finding the target in the 16th,19th and 35th minutes after team-mate Faouzi Aaish had openedaccount for his side in the eighth minute.
For India, Gouramangi Singh scored in the ninth minute inthe Group C match at the Al Sadd Stadium.
In a fast-paced match, India tried to match their morefancied rivals, who missed out the bus for 2010 world Cup inplay-off, but a goal-keeper misjudgement and constant pressurefrom their opponents saw them wilt.
The Indian defence of Gouramangi Singh, Anwar, SurkumarSingh and Syed Rahim Nabi were troubled by the Bahraini strikeduo of John Jaycee and Abbdul latif several times.
India, who started promisingly, had some good moves andset piece chances but hardly troubled the Bahrain goal.
As early as the third minute, India almost took the leadbut striker Sunil Chhetri missed the opportunity.
In a quick counterattack, Captain Climax Lawrence sent aprecise aerial pass for Chhetri but the Indian strike''sleft-footer was tipped over the bar by Bahrain goalkeeperMahmood Mansoor.
Two minutes later, however, Bahrain took the lead througha penalty kick after Climax brought down Faouzi Aaish whostepped up to convert it.
The near-capacity crowd at the Stadium rose on their feetwith India equalising in the 10th minute through GouramangiSingh.
Renedy Singh''s measured free-kick from near the centreline was headed down by tall striker Abhishek Yadav, whostarted in place of Mohammed Rafi, for Gouramangi to shoothome.
But India''s euphoria was shortlived as Bahrain scoredtwice in the space of four minutes.
In the 16th minute, Indian goalkepeer misjudged aharmless cross from the left and he allowed the ball todeflect from his legs for Bahrain striker Ismaeel Abdul Latifto fire home with a left-footer.
Three minutes later, Abdul Latif scored again with JohnJaycee, who was left alone at the left side, setting him upwith a cross.
Abdul Latif added another in the 35th minute after he wasset up by Abdulla Al Dakeel with a nice flick.