India vs Puerto Rico: International friendly — As it happened...
Welcome to live coverage of the India-Puerto Rico international friendly match being played at Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai.
Indian attacking players came to the party and score four times after conceding an early goal thanks to a penalty. India had 11 attempts on target as against six from Puerto Rico. The Blue Tigers didn't disappoint today. Win for India in their final international fixture of the year.
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Second Half: India (17' Das, 24' Chhetri, 34' Lalpekhlua, 57' Jackichand) 4 - 1 (7' Sanchez) Puerto Rico
90+5'- Mike Ramos once again playing from the right to beat the Indian defenders. Won a corner. But wasted the chance, and goal kick to India.
And with a flowing move, the final whistle came.
90+2'- A valliant run in the dying minutes for Puerto Rico. But the long attempt missed the target. It was followed by yet another attempt. And Germanpreet Singh was forced to play nasty, a terrible clearing.
90'- Holicharan Narzary had a brilliant run on the left flank, then found Seityasen Irom, whose release failed to find an India team-make. Too early for the call. Four minutes added.
89'- SUB for India. Germanpreet Singh on for Pritam. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico won a corner.
87'- with minutes into the final whistle, India took time to build a move, and only a diving save from Puerto Rico goalie denied it.
86'- Minutes ago, Jackichand was replaced by his Mannipur statemate Seityasen Irom. For Puerto Rico, Juan Velez made way for Morales.
India came close to score the fifth goal. But ended up with a corner.
84'- Sumit Passi, once again, hurriedly took a long ranger. No power, and also missed the target.
82'- One of the better moves from Puerto Rico with Mike Ramos taking a good shot at India goal.
80'- Corner for India, managed to draw Puerto Rico players and create a move. But India lost possession in the process.
77'- Yet another good play for India. Daniel Lalhimpuia on for Sunil Chhetri, Karlos Ferrer on for Jacob Conde.
74'- Class act from Rowlin Borges. He was involved ina good move forward, then in front of the Puerto Rico goal, produced a feign move to take a shot with his left foot. But the ball got deflected for a corner.
71'- Sumit Passi lost possession in the centre and Puerto Rico, on a quick move, hit the post. Then, a corner for Puerto Rico.
But from the counter attack, India though Passi found acres of space. But the young Indian lost the chance, with a tame long ranger. Could have done better, lot better.
68'- SUB for India. Jeje Lalpekhlua replaced by Sumit Passi.
66'- Jackichand, after winning back the possession in the centre, released a long ball for Sunil. India won a throw in on the left.
From the following play, Pritam Kotal found Jackichand on the flank. But the final move found no takers.
64'- After some time, a good move for Puerto Rico but the cross from the righ edge of the box was collected by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
On a quick counter, Jeje Lalpekhlua tried a long ranger. But only to see Puerto Rica goalie produce a dramatic save.
62'- Another short corner for Indian between Jackichand and Sunil, then Jeje launched a chip, only to see the ball going to Puerto Rico goalie. Easy.
60'- Sandesh Jhingan made timely tackle to thwart a seemingly dangerous move from Puerto Rico in front of India goal. Corner to the visitors, and India launched another attack.
Pritam Kotal released a cross but Jeje failed to chest down. But still win a corner from the following play.
58'- GOALL!! Jackichand Telem score from close range to make it 4th for India. Brilliant goal control by Jeje Lalpekhlua after a long throw-in on the left.
55'- Good long ball for Puerto Rico, but Emanuel Sanchez failed to make grounds, and easy collection for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Goal kick to India.
53'- Ambitious move from Jeje Lalpekhlua. He tried to nutmeg two defenders but wasted. On the counter Micheal Anthony Ramon Ramos tried a long ranger, but was blocked by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
52' - Late tackle from Holicharan Narzary, and free kick to Puerto Rico inside their own half.
50' - Good work mopping up for India by Narayan Das. Then, goal kick for Puerto Rico as India wasted a good move.
47' - Puerto Rico started the second half from the centre, and soon an attack. Handball claimed. Then, India got a good chance with Jackichand taking a long ranger.
Changes for both the teams in the interval. Double for India, with Holicharan Narzary and Rowlin Borges on; for Puerto Rico, goal keeper change.
After conceding an early penalty thanks to a dubious decision from the referee, India impressed everyone with their fearless play. Despite the intensity of the game, it has seen only two bookings – one each. Pronay Halder for India and Emmanuel Alejandro D’Andrea Yepez for Puerto Rico.
First Half: India (17' Das, 24' Chhetri, 34' Lalpekhlua) 3 - 1 (7' Sanchez) Puerto Rico
45+2' - Just before the break, Jeje went tantalizing doubling his score, but his left-footed attempt was blocked by the flailing legs of Johnny Santana.
From the goal-kick, Puerto Rico found a lucky corner, but to no avail.
44' - Loose play from Sunil Chhetri, wasted his possession, but the Puerto Rico move was cut short by a Pritam Kotal interception. Good play from the Indian defence, so far, barring that early blip.
42' - India, certainly, are playing with confidence. After losing balls, in crucial areas, still managed to get the attacking breaks.
In one such move, Jackichand got a run and found Jeje inside the box with a precise minus. But Jeje's first touch was little heavy, and chance wasted.
39' - Just caught off-side. It was a brilliant ball for Jeje Lalpekhlua from the left flank, but he was flagged off.
Then, Puerto Rico, found an offside of their own to deal with.
35' - GOAL!! Seven goal in last seven games for for Jeje Lalpekhlua. He and Sunil Chhetri wrecked havoc in the Puerto Rico half after a lucky clearance. The Mizo boy controlled his header and scored. Chhetri was brilliant in finding the space to turn and loft the ball for his team-mate.
31' - Good defending from Pritam Kotal to cut short the Puerto Rico move, which was taking a toll on Indian defence, Then, on the counter Jacki found enoung pace to beat the opposing defenders and released one for Jeje, but the Mizoram boy just missed the target.
27' - India could have conceded the second goal, just after Chhetri goal. But skipper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu there.
Another corner from Puerto Rico, and clean collection from Sandhu. On the counter, Jeje Lalpekhlua released for onrushing Jackichand Telem, but the Manipuri failed to hit the target. Wasted.
24' - GOAL!! Another free-kick, and another goal for India. This time, Sunil Chhetri needed no one to bury that. His low, curling ball found the inside corner of the far post, and ended inside the net.
21' - Desperate lunge from seasoned Arnab Mandal to clear the danger. But after India;s equalier, it's all Puerto Rico. They visitors have managed to press hard from their favourite channel, from the left.
18' - GOAL!! India responded with an equaliser. Bikash Jairu was brought down just putside the box, thus earning a free-kick. The ex-captain hit the far upright from the effort, but Narayan Das hit it clean on the rebound to equalise.
That's Das' first India goal.
15' - Brilliant period of play from India. Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who found himself in front of the box after a hard pressed move, took a shot but was collected by the goal-keeper.
12' - India holding back their move forward. Then a long ball from Eugeneson Lyngdoh allowed Sunil Chhetri to go for the goal, but was beaten by the Puerto Rico goalie.
10' - First corner for India. A shot play in the corner, allowed India to made inroads, but the final movement from Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua failed to make any impact.
8' - Penalty to Puerto Rico. Jackichand Telem the culprit. He failed to track back and was caught off guard when his opponent Elliot Velez made a quick turn.
Then, the conversion. Clinical conversion from Emanuel Miguel Benedetto Sanchez. GOAL!!
4' - Better playe from India with Jackichand Telem getting a free run on the right flank, but his run was cut short. A throw in for India.
Jeje Lalpekhlua, heavily man-marked, lost the ball just outside the Puerto Rico box. No signs of Sunil Chhetri.
3' - Jeje Lalpekhlua involved himself in the defensive work, and good clearance to thwart that early set-piece from the visitors.
Puerto Rico continued to attack from the left flank.
1' - India started from the centre, with Jeje Lalpekhlua rolling the first pass. Good early defensive work from Puerto Rico, then a corner.
India are in traditional blues, while the visiting team wearing red and white.
Dignitaries, including AIFF president Praful Patel, met players, then the national anthems round.
INDIA XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK & Capt.); Narayan Das, Arnab Mondal, Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal; Jackichand Telem, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Pronay Haldar, Bikash Jairu; Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua
India Subs: Subrata Pal (GK), Chinglensana Konsham, Fulganco Cardozo, Md. Rafique, Daniel Lalhimpuia, Sumit Passi, Rino Anto, Amrinder Singh, Holicharan Narzary, Germanpreet Singh, Rowlin Borges, Seityasen Irom
PUERTO RICO XI: Johnny Santana Ramirez (GK), Juan Gabriel Velez Lago, Emmanuel Alejandro D’Andrea Yepez, Elliot M Velez Lago, Alexis Rivera Curet (Capt.), Jacob Rafael Conde, Juan Antonio Agustin Coca Nogueras, Marcos Junior Martinez Amaro, Andres Nicolas Cabrero Gomez, Emanuel Miguel Benedetto Sanchez, Micheal Anthony Ramon Ramos
Strangely for Puerto Rico, they have only three players on the bench, thanks to some players missing the connecting flight.
Here's Puerto Rico's XI:
Johnny Santana Ramirez, Juan Gabriel Velez Lago, Emmanuel Alejandro D’Andrea Yepez, Elliot M Velez Lago, Alexis Rivera Curet (C), Jacob Rafael Conde, Juan Antonio Agustin Coca Nogueras, Marcos Junior Martinez Amaro, Andres Nicolas Cabrero Gomez, Emanuel Miguel Benedetto Sanchez, Micheal Anthony Ramon Ramos
— Indian Football Team (@AiffMedia) September 3, 2016
After three back-to-back wins, India are confident of putting up a fight, and the coach already listed a 28-man strong team.
India have won their three matches, including a unofficial match against Bhutan. Last time, Stephen Constantine's suffered a defeat, was against Turkmenistan in March.
In contrast, Puerto Rico have lost their last two matches to their traditional rivals Dominican Republic.
India: Subrata Paul, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (C), Amrinder Singh, Rino Anto, Sandesh Jhingan, Arnab Mondal, Keegan Pereira, Chinglensana Konsham, Pritam Kotal, Narayan Das, Fulganco Cardozo, Vinit Rai, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Pronay Halder, Jackichand Telem, Isaac Vanmalsawma, Bikash Jairu, Rowllin Borges, Alwyn George, Germanpreet Singh, Mohammed Rafique, Seityasen Irom, Arjun Tudu, Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Kumam, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sumeet Passi, Halicharan Narzary, Daniel Lalhimpuia.
Coach: Stephen Constantine
Puerto Rico: Christofer Alexander Echevarria Del Valle, Johnny Santana Ramirez, Joan Sebastian Morales Feliciano, Juan Gabriel Velez Lago, Emmanuel Alejandro D'Andrea Yepez, Juan Antonio Agustin Coca Nogueras, Marcos Junior Martinez Amaro, Elliot M Velez Lago, Andres Nicolas Cabrero Gomez, Emanuel Miguel Benedetto Sanchez, Micheal Anthony Ramon Ramos, Javier Orlando Lalondriz Fernandez, Alexis Rivera Curet, Jacob Rafael Conde, Karlos Francisco Ferrer Mojica, Jose A Martinez.
Coach: David Guillemat, on for Carlos Garcia Cantarero
The two sides have never met in the past. But the team from CONCACAF confederation will start as the favourites thanks to their close proximity to other global heavyweights from their part of the world — not necessarily to their confederation, and of course their higher raking position.
Stephen Constantine's side is ranked 152, 38 places below the Puerto Ricans.
But the visiting team already got into a trouble, a rather self inflicting one, with their top attacking players Hector Ramos, Jorge Rivera and Joseph Marrero not playing today.
The reported reason is, they missed the connecting flight from New York to Mumbai on Thursday.
Besides, with little time to acclimatized, Carlos Garcia Cantarero's side will find it all the more difficult to perform to it's best.
And that's where a hungry Indian side will look to hit.
Thirteen out of the 24 players are under 23, this is just the start for yet another rebuilding project, which Constantine and his bosses at AIFF have been harping about. And a win today, will give that dream a real push towards realization — that of India becoming, at least a competitive team at global stage.
Also, a win over a higher ranked team always gives good FIFA ranking points.
With today's match, Mumbai's 61-year-long wait for an international match will be over. Last time the Indian financial capital hosted an international game was in February 1955.
New Delhi: Welcome to live coverage of the India-Puerto Rico international friendly match being played at Andheri Sports Complex, Mumbai.