The Indian football teams have played a game each in the group stages of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and produced contrasting results. The women defeated Maldives by a jaw-dropping margin of 15 goals while the men were handed a 0-5 defeat by a clinical UAE side.
Before the games commenced, these football teams were left stranded in China where they were on an exposure camp. Initially the sports ministry had not cleared the football teams to participate along with 4 other disciplines due to rising costs. The Indian football teams were later cleared after some persuasion by the All India Football Federation (AIFF).
The teams arrived in Incheon on the 13th of September and despite not getting complete rest, the Indian women showed great confidence on the field in their opening game. 15 goals in 90 minutes is a difficult feat. They now sit pretty at the top of the table. India will face South Korea in their second group stage game on Wednesday. The hosts boast of a formidable squad as they defeated Thailand 5-0 in their first game. For India,winger Sasmita Malik and midfielders Kamala and Bembem Devi will have to be at their best to defeat the Koreans and secure a place in the semi-finals.
The men on the other hand have placed themselves in a tough position. Their loss against UAE has resulted in a -5 goal difference on the points table. They play another gulf country, Jordan in their next group stage match on the 22nd. A win in this match will keep them alive in the competition.
The long break will give enough time for coach Wim Kovermans and his team to regroup and a better performance is expected from the trio of Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh and Lalrindka Ralte.
Stay tuned for all the updates on Indian Football from Asian Games.
Picture Courtesy: AIFF