List of 5 Heartbreaking Second-half Losses in Indian Football History

Football: Second-half losses in football history: Discover the top 5 heart-wrenching second-half losses in Indian football history. Uncover the stories behind these devastating losses that left fans shattered on

Sarah Andrew
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Second-half losses in football history (Source: X)

India is touted to be an emerging power in the Football world. The Asian team was known for its dominance in the continent in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Since then, there has been a steady decline in the quality of Football in a country that loves the sport very much. Over the years, there have been many reasons behind the bad performance of the Indian team in the sport. As a result, India has been ranked low among the Football teams in the world rankings, which has not gone well with the fans.

India is often termed as a 'Sleeping giant' in Football. There has been no significant win by the Indian team over the years. Changing coaching styles and lack of talent hunting have resulted in poor results over the years. While results can go either way, one would want the players to give their best on the pitch. But there are some instances where the team went on to lose some of the games despite the players giving their best. In some matches, India lost despite being in a winning position in the first half.

The losses in the second half of the game can be heart-wrenching. the fact that despite dominating the game for the most part only to end up in the losing side for a short lapse in concentration always gets the players and the teams. India has undergone several such losses. Here is the list of the Top 5 most heartbreaking second-half losses in the history of Indian Football.

5. AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers 2014

2014 Myanmar

It was the match between India and Myanmar in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers of 2014. India had won the tournament at home in 2008. But the following edition in 2011 was not great for them, as they ended the tournament at the bottom of the table. Hence, the Indian team was in a must-win situation to win in the 2014 tournament in order to qualify for the 2015 edition.

India won their first 2 matches of the tournament against Chinese Taipei and Guam by margins of 2-1 and 4-0 respectively. India needed to just draw the game against Myanmar. The complacency might have well cost the game for India, as they conceded a goal in the 75th minute of the game. Soe Min Oo's goal ensured that India finished second in the group to not qualify further.

4. AFC Under-16 Championships Quarter Finals 2018

2018 South Korea

It was the Quarterfinals stage match of the tournament between India and South Korea. The Indian team had a good tournament till that point. In the group stage, India had beaten Vietnam 1-0 before claiming a sensational goalless draw against a top Asian side like Iran and another goalless draw against Indonesia. In the quarterfinal though, the challenge was huge.

India were up against another Asian powerhouse like South Korea, who had a very good team in the edition. Despite having a tough opponent, the Indian players had a good outing and displayed a brilliant skill set as a defensive unit. But the hard resistance from the Indian unit came to an end when Jeong Sang-Bin scored a goal in the 68th minute of the game and knocked the team out of the tournament. 

3. Under-19 World Cup Group Stage match 2017

2017 Colombia

It was the group stage match of the FIFA Under 17 World Cup 2017 between India and Colombia. It was the first major Football tournament hosted by India in a long time. The home crowd was literally behind the Indian team as they gave a brilliant fight to one of the topmost Football sides in the world like Colombia. For most parts, the match had a swinging retreat. 

No team seemed to dominate at any point. The players from both the teams gave their best and India looked good to claim a draw. In the 49th minute of the game, Juan Penaloza scored the first goal of the match. India equalized in the 82nd minute of the game, thanks to a goal from Jeakson Singh. Indian fans could not even celebrate for a minute, as Juan came up with the second goal of the match, which claimed a win for Colombia.

2. AFC Asian Cup Group Stage 2019

2019 Bahrain

It was the group stage match of the tournament between Bahrain and India. In the first two matches of the tournament, India won and lost against Thailand and the UAE respectively. India lost 0-2 to UAE and claimed a huge win of 4-0 against Thailand. Hence, they needed just a draw to progress further. It was the complacency again that affected the Indian team.

Against Bahrain, it seemed as if the Indian team was happy to get away with a draw so that they could give their best in the further stages. The strategy of India seemed to be working well for them till the last few minutes of the game. In the 90 + 1st minute of the game, Jamal Rashed eked out a goal against a defensive unit that was well-oiled and ensured a win for Bahrain, which knocked India out of the tournament.

1. Asian Games Quarterfinals 1982

1982 Saudi Arabia

It was a game lost by India by a margin of 0-1. Not many anticipated India to lose the game by the margin they did. Back then, India had a good team to take on the challenge of Saudi Arabia. For the most part in the match, there were efforts from the Indian team which were good but denied them the goal. Saudi Arabia equally tried their chances.

Till the first 88 minutes of the game, there were no goals. The campaign itself started with controversy for India as the players had decided to play for the clubs over the nation. The star striker from Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Bayazid, scored an incredible goal in the 89th minute of the game to give his side a lead of 0-1, which they held to knock India out of the tournament.

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