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Indian football team suffers 0-2 defeat against Pakistan in football friendly

Bangalore: India on Wednesday suffered an embarrassing 0-2 defeat at the hands of a spirited Pakistan in the second football friendly to end the two-match series 1-1 here.

Wim Koeverman`s team, which won the first friendly 1-0 on August 17, today looked out of sorts and Pakistan were the better side in all departments of the game between the Asian Games-bound sides of the two countries at the Bangalore Football Stadium.

Pakistan richly deserved the accolades for putting up a gritty show and for not allowing the home side to make comeback into the game.

India will need to step up the gas if they hope to go past the group stage in the Asian Games.

Captain Kaleemullah and Saddam Hussain found the back of the Indian net in the 39th and 90th minutes respectively much to the delight of their coach Mohammad Shamlan who had said before of the match that India were beatable.

Kaleemullah converted a free-kick in the 39th minute, while Saddam Hussain doubled the lead in the 90th minute for the visitors.

Kaleemullah`s free-kick sailed into the back of the net after a Lalrindika Ralte foul, giving Pakistan a 1-0 lead. Then, in dying moments of the game, Saddam placed the ball into the far post and sealed the match for Pakistan.

In first 14 minutes, both teams had a chance each. Indian captain Sunil Chhetri tested Pakistan custodian Muzammil Hussain, while Kaleemullah`s shot went over the bar.

None of the long balls or passes attempted by the Indians ever reached its recipients, except for when Chhetri shot from 30 yards was punched away for a corner by Pakistan goalkeeper.

Koevermans made two changes to his side from that he fielded four days ago by bringing in striker Thongkhosiem Haokip and midfielder Milan Singh in place of the suspended Robin Singh and Pronay Halder who carried a niggle from the last game.

India should have taken an early lead when Haokip Thonhkosiem`s shot was fended off by Saddam and Francis Fernandes` attempt on the rebound was blocked in 37th minute.

Ten minutes into the second half, Seiminlen Doungel, who came in for Fernandes, aimed one only to find the side netting after Chhetri had set up an excellent move.

In the 71st minute, Siam Hanghal pushed one to Chhetri who launched a counter-attack but was brought down by Muhammad Bilal. Taking the free-kick from around 25 yards, the ball curled wide of the nets.

Moments later, Doungel passed one to Joyner Lourenco in 87th minute, who scooped the ball over Pakistani defender, but could not control the kick which sailed way over the head of the Pakistani goalkeeper.

Amrinder came off his line to save a certain goal in an one-on-one situation with Saddam who had only the keeper to beat in the 81st minute.

However, Saddam latched on to the missed opportunity by stealing the ball from Sanesh Jhingan`s possession and clinically placing the ball into the right corner in the 90th minute to seal the win for Pakistan.