Asian Cup 2019: Bahrain Score Last-Gasp Penalty To Break Indian Hearts

Asian Cup Late Bahrain penalty knocks out India

Asian Cup Late Bahrain penalty knocks out India

Constantine has built India into a compact and largely defensive unit which tries to score on the counter.

Entering their final group game following a 4-1 win over Thailand and a 0-2 loss to hosts United Arab Emirates, a determined India held on for 90 minutes before conceding.

India were moments away from reaching the knockout phase for the first time before Jamal Rashid converted a dramatic penalty to shatter their dreams and sneak Bahrain through.

Immediately after the defeat, Constantine announced that he has chose to step down from his position.

Stephen Constantine resigned from his position of Indian football team's head coach after the Blue Tigers suffered an exit from the group stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019. I was here for four years. My objective from day one was to qualify for the Asian Cup and I've done that and we've broken a few records as we'd done that.

"I think my cycle is finished", added the 56-year-old, who rejoined India for a second spell in 2015. "It's time for me to move on", he told reporters at the post match press conference.

So, if both Thailand and India lose their matches on Monday, India will end at third as they have defeated the "War Elephants" 4-1 in their opening match. The woodwork saved India in the 71st minute as Marhoon's header off a corner hit the upright.

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India were clinging by the end, at one point packing all 11 players on their own goal line to defend an indirect free kick.

The lack of creativity in the midfield as compared to other top sides was, however, evident and a lot will depend on Chhetri, who has become the highest Indian goal scorer in the Asian Cup (with four strikes) as well as second highest worldwide goal scorer (67 from 106 matches) among active players.

India needed just a draw to qualify for the Round of 16 but the defeat meant that they finished at the bottom of the four-team Group A to crash out of the tournament. "The boys are sick, as you can imagine". But I thought we were unlucky. If UAE and Thailand draw, UAE would go up to five points and Thailand to four points.

"India defended amazingly but I felt that they were thinking maybe a little bit too much about a draw".

It took UAE just seven minutes to break the deadlock, as Ismail Al Hamadi saw his strike come back off the crossbar after darting into the box, with Mabkhout nodding in the rebound.

"Today I was expecting a better performance. We go home", the coach said reflecting on the game.

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