India lost 1-2 to Jordan in an international friendly at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Al-Qweismeh in Amman on Saturday.
There were logistical issues including a delayed flight due to flash floods in Kuwait, which forced India Head Coach Stephen Constantine to miss out on a host of first choice players against a much superior team.
This forced Constantine to opt to field a very new-look starting XI against Jordan and the young side struggled to keep hold of the ball as Jordan dominated proceedings from the start.
Jordan took the lead in the 25th minute after a silly mistake from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. First he sent a free kick straight into the homeside goalkeeper cum captain Amer Shafi’s hands and then did not get back in goal in time. He misjudged the bounce on Shafi’s long punt upfield and could only palm the ball into his own net while backtracking.
Jordan’s second goal came in the 58th minute after India failed to convert their corner. Jordan caught the Indian defence off guard with a fast counterattack down the left.
Nishu Kumar pulled one back for India in the 61st minute, only 2 minutes after coming on. The Bengaluru FC defender ghosted behind the Jordan defence and got on the end of a cut back from Germanpreet Singh. His stinging first-time shot proved too much to handle for Shafi and found the back of the net.
“I thought the boys were outstanding. I have just thanked every single one of them individually. All the boys absolutely gave everything. We could not have asked for more. Maybe we were a little unfortunate not to get the equalizer. But it was important that we played the game. We came here to play the game. I am delighted with the performance, but I am disappointed that we lost,“ Constantine stated post match.
“The boys that played today really gave themselves a good push in the right direction to be in the squad for the AFC Asian Cup. There is another month to go and I just hope that no one gets injured. I am pleased that no one was injured today. This was of course the biggest worry. We had a great performance considering we did not have a striker in the first half.”