The Indian football team were beaten 5-2 by DPR Korea in their second match of the Intercontinental Cup on Saturday at the TransStadia Arena in Ahmedabad.
Coach Igor Stimac made a telling nine chances in the squad that lost 4-2 to Tajikistan. Skipper Sunil Chhetri and Amarjit Singh kept their place. ATK forward Jobby Justin, who had replaced Chhetri in the last game in the 87th minute, started today.
DPR Korea made three changes to their side which lost 5-2 against Syria in their first match. The two fullbacks Thong and Chang along with misfiring striker Kim Yong Il made way for Hong Song, Kim Bom and Ri Jin.
And the Koreans took the lead just eight minutes into the tie as skipper Jong Il Gwan scored from a brilliant curling free-kick. Amarjit Singh had pulled off an ugly challenge on Sim Hyon Jin which resulted in the free-kick.
Chhetri missed an easy chance to equalise just three minutes after Korea's goal. Brandon’s curling free-kick from the right flank found an unmarked Chhetri inside the box but the skipper failed to keep the free header in between the sticks.
Korea made India pay for that miss as they went on a took a three goal lead within the first half hour of the game. The second goal came courtesy of Sim Hyon, who scored after a through ball from Ri Un Chol. Sim took advantage of Sandesh Jhingan's poor positioning and comfortably found the back of the net.
The visitors soon struck a third goal which was more embarrassing for the Indian team as skipper Jong Il Gwan converted a comfortable header from inside the box from P Song’s cross. Amrinder conceded the goal at his near post.
Stimac brought in Lallianzuala Chhangte and Udanta Singh in place of Manvir Singh and Brandon Fernandes. Chhangte pulled one back for India in the 51st minute from Sunil Chhetri’s pass. Chhetri moved forward with the ball and fed Chhangte at the edge of the box and the pacy forward did not make any mistake in slotting the ball home.
Just when it looked like India are making a comeback into the game, Korea silenced Indian fans as they scored in the 63rd minute from a counter attack which again saw India's defenders being caught napping.
Chhetri scored the second goal for India in the 71st minute from Udanta’s cross. Udanta and Sahal exchanged a couple of passes inside the box before the Bengaluru winger found the skipper who somehow managed to push the ball into the net with his knee.
The Indian team did come up with a better performance in the second half but their defence once again let them down. Korea piled more misery on the Blue Tigers by scoring a fifth goal in the 91st minute courtesy of Ri Hyong Jin, who found himself through on goal. Amrinder blocked his first attempt but couldn't save the striker's effort off the rebound.
The Blue Tigers will now face Syria on July 16.