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    Default India crash out of Olympic football qualifiers

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    India Under-23 could only earn a 1-1 draw against Qatar Under-23 in the second leg at the Balewadi Sports Complex here on Thursday to lose the first round Pre-Olympic qualifier (AFC) 4-2 on aggregate.
    Lalrindika failed to score a penalty for India in the first half but an own goal from Khaled Muftah gave Desmond Bulpin’s boys the lead in the second half. However, Qatar avoided defeat as Mohammed El Neel netted the equalizer.
    Despite losing 3-1 in the first leg, India coach Bulpin named an unchanged starting lineup with CS Sabeeth once again partnering Jeje Lalpekhlua upfront in a 4-4-2 formation. Milan Singh and Jagtar Singh replaced Zakeer Mundampara and Snehashish Chakraborty in the match squad.

    Qatar coach Bernard Simondi made just one change from the match in Doha as Al Khalfan, the scorer of Qatar’s first goal in the first leg, dropped to the bench while Mohammed El Neel, who scored the third after coming off the bench, was given a start.
    Despite having a two goal cushion, Qatar were operating in an attack minded 4-2-3-1 formation, looking to cancel out Jeje’s away goal.
    Like in the first leg, Qatar skipper Hassan Al Haidous was looking dangerous in the early stages but the West Asian nation were not able to create any clear cut chances.
    It was India who created the first opportunity of the game when a long throw from captain Raju Gaekwad found its way to Jeje but the Mizoram-born striker failed to get a proper connection to it.
    Qatar’s first shot on target came from striker Al Ansari who did well to make some room for himself just outside the box but his effort was straight into the hands of Laxmikant Kattimani.
    ...being a human...



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