In an eventful match, Indians put up a second-half fight to lose 1-2 against home team Jordan. The result of the game almost seemed to be a foregone conclusion, as many of the first-choice players were available for the Indians. Apart from Sunil Chettri, who is injured, Indians also missed Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Udanta Singh and Halicharan Narzary; all of whom were yet to recover from their travel to Amman, which included a 32-hour halt at Kuwait, as air traffic was suspended due to thunderstorms and torrential rain. Things looked so bad that at one point the match was about to be canceled. However, later negotiations made sure that the match will take place as planned.
Indian coach, Stephen Constantine, started the game with lone striker, Anirudh Thapa. As the game started, the Jordanians earned an early penalty, but the experienced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu thwarted Bani Atiyeh’s effort. However, soon Gurpreet ended up being responsible for India going 1-down. Jordan goalkeeper Shafi’s harmless kick landed in front Gurpreet, bounced and went above his head into the goal. The first half saw Indians struggling to keep the ball, while the Jordanians created a few more chances.
The second half saw the Indians playing a bit more with purpose, but they went 0-2 down in the 58th minute when Haddad’s header caught Indian defence off-guard. However, three-minutes later debutant Nishu Kumar brought India back in the hunt. Germanpreet Singh, who didn’t had an impressive game, picked up Nishu in the left side of the Jordanian penalty box with a measured pass. Nishu Kumar made no mistake and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper. Nishu Kumar had just came in few minutes earlier to make his international debut, replacing Jackichand Singh. In the dying minutes, both the teams squandered chances of scoring another, keeping the scoreline 2-1 at the finish.
Going by reputation, Jordan were clearly favourites to win this game. The pre-match issues made it even difficult for the Indians. But a 1-2 result with a very inexperienced team, under these conditions, is commendable.