Calcutta/Khujand: The Indian football team’s disastrous performance at the international level continued as they went down 0-3 to Tajikistan in an international friendly here on Wednesday.
Davronov Nuriddin (12th), Fatkhuloev Fatkhullo (18th) and Akhtam Khamrakulov (90+3) scored for the home team at the 20 Years of Independence Stadium.
Indian team playing an international friendly after a long gap gave a poor account of themselves as Tajikistan looked a far better side in front of 10,000 odd spectators who supported their national team.
The Tajik players used the wide areas to good effect as they made forays from the flank.
Sandip Nandy also wasn’t in his element. The home team were rewarded as early as the 12th minute when Fatkhullo sprinted down the left and kept a low centre which was tapped in by an onrushing Nuriddin. Defenders Raju Gaekwad and debutant Arnab Mondal were not in position to stop Nuriddin from scoring.
Conceding an early goal made matters worse for Wim Koevermans’ boys who were without two of their best players Syed Rahim Nabi and Subrata Paul — both dropped from squad from not doing pre-season training.
Tajikistan went up by 2-0 when Vasiev Dilshod dodged past Nirmal Chetri but the latter brought him down just outside the box. Fatkhullo curled one perfectly as the ageing Nandy’s desperate late dive wasn’t enough to prevent a second goal.
At the stroke of half-time, Nandy pulled up a muscle and was replaced by Karanjeet Singh.
Koevermans made two substitutions in the second half as Lalrindika Ralte replacing Lenny Rodrigues and Arata Izumi coming in for Jewel Raja.