India Goes Down To UAE
Poor Refereeing cost India the game against UAE in the world cup qualifier | By Yentha
On Jul 24, 2011


Al Ain: India went down against UAE 3-0 in the World Cup football second round qualifying match on Saturday. Two red cards in a span of four minutes dashed India’s hopes in the Asian qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Defender Debabrata Roy and goalkeeper Subrata Paul were sent out as they were red carded by the Qatari referee Banjar Al Doasri in the 21st and 24th minutes leaving India to play with only nine players for more than an hour in the match at Sheikh Khlaifa Bin Zayed Stadium.

It goes to India’s credit that they were successful in defending with nine men against UAE who are way ahead in rankings. Two of the three goals of UAE came through spot kicks which were awarded to them. Hamdan Al Kamali (20th) and Mohamed Al Shehhi (29th) converted the spot kicks which resulted from the infringements by Roy and Paul. Abdulrahman Al Hamadi scored a field goal in the 81st minute.

Refereeing was a bit harsh towards Indians as the second red card was needless. It was the UAE forward who was advancing and Subrata Paul already had a firm grip on the ball. But the Qatar referee found Paul guilty and red carded him for an infringement on Al Hammadi.

The match was held up for almost six minutes as Paul’s marching order infuriated the Indian players and it was resumed only after the intervention of the Asian Football Confederation ( AFC) officials. It also forced India Coach Armando Colaco to make some structural changes by replacing experienced Steven Dias with Karanjit Singh. Even though the move invited displeasure, the Salgoakar goal keeper did a great job in the remaining sixty minutes delivering some outstanding saves. Striker Sunil Chettri also fell back in the mid-field behind striker Jeje Lalpeklua.

However it has to be said that UAE failed to capitalize on India’s miseries. They were no near to a team which drowned India 5-0 in their previous meeting in November last year. Indians were unable to create any goal bound moves and went into the break 0-2.

India played a compact game as they were left with very few options in the second half.

After this loss, it will now be a huge task for India to progress to the next round as they need to beat UAE by a margin of four goals or more in the return leg on July 28th  to move to the second round. Roy and Paul, India’s number one goal keeper, will consequently have to sit out of that match at Ambedkar Stadium.

Indian coach Colaco blamed the referee for spoiling the game. "My question is, do those incidents merit a red card? In the case of Roy, the goalkeeper was behind him. He was not the last defender,” he said.

"Subrata had the ball in his hand. So he was protecting it when the player charged him. I know he lifted his leg, but who came charging? Punish him with a yellow card, but not a red card, because he had the ball with him,” he added.
He also said, "I think the red cards were unnecessary. The referee killed the game. It would have been a very nice game otherwise,” he said. "I appreciate and I congratulate UAE for winning this match, but don't forget my boys put up a spirited show because they scored just one field goal," he added, while talking at the post match session.

If India continues to carry their current form,  a huge upset probably awaits  UAE in the return leg at Delhi.

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