India's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign reached another low on Thursday, 8 October, after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Turkmenistan in Ashgabat. The Blue Tigers missed the services of Pronay Halder and Jackichand Singh, both of whom failed to recover from injuries, and ended the game with 10 men as Pritam Kotal was carried off injured after all three substitutions were completed.
Playing their 4th match in the 2nd round of the qualifying stage, the Indian side was slow off the blocks and conceded a goal early on in the 8th minute. The visitors, however, settled down as the game progressed, and equalised through Jeje in the 29th minute, as the teams headed into the half-time break with the scores level.
Early on in the second half, head coach Stephen brought in left-back Lalchhuanmawia in place of Narayan Das. A few minutes later, however, Arslanmyrat Amanov put Turkmenistan back in front, as the home side held on for an extremely important win.
The loss means India stay at the bottom of the group, having lost all their four games. Turkmenistan, on the other hand, boosted their chances of finishing third or higher, having now accumulated 4 points from 4 games. India next face Oman on 13 October in Al-Seeb, while Turkmenistan will face Guam at home on the same day.