Despite putting on a spirited performance against heavyweights Australia, India went down 0-2 in their opening encounter of the ongoing AFC Asian Cup 2023. The match took place at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar and it was a high-voltage encounter.
The first-half ended in a stalemate as none of the two sides could find the back of the net. India punched above their weight and their defending was simply impeccable. Despite full pressing from the Australians, the Indians managed to not slip under the carpet.
But goals from Jackson Ervine and Jordan Bos in the second-half resulted in Australia winning this game and climbing on top of their group’s points table.
In this article, we take a look at 3 reasons why India lost at the hands of Australia in the ongoing AFC Asian Cup 2023:
1. Massive difference in FIFA Rankings
It is no secret that Australia are a far-superior team than the Blue Tigers. They were ranked at 25 ahead of this game and now would be jumping to the 25th position after the end of this tournament.
India on the other hand are presently ranked 102nd and would be slipping to the 106th position after the latest FIFA Rankings are released. Irrespective of India’s results in the remainder of the tournament, India would be slipping to the 106th position.
The paradigm difference in rankings between these two teams plays testimony to the fact that Australia are a far better team than India.
2. India didn’t materialise on their chances
Another major drawback of the Indian football team in this performance was that they failed to capitalise on their chances. There were very few chances that they could generate from this game and the Blue Tigers could not pounce on them.
There was a good header from skipper Sunil Chhetri but it couldn’t go to the back of the net. In the final time of the extra-time of the first half, Suresh Wangjam’s long-range shot was easily collected by the goalkeeper of the Socceroos.
3. Constant pressing from the Australians
The Australian strikers and attacking midfielders did not let the Indians breathe on the ball. They constantly kept pressing and kept the defenders of the Indian football team, at bay.
As a result, creating those chances through slick passing wasn’t possible. India had to adopt the strategy of long-ball, which used to be prevalent during the era of India’s former coach, Stephen Constantine.