India bows out of World Cup qualifier

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Margao, Oct 30 (UNI) Needing a 3-0 win, India bowed out of the competition after they were locked in a 2-2 draw against Lebanon in the home leg tie of the 2010 FIFA World Cup first round qualifer match played at Nehru Stadium Fatorda in South Goa today.

Lebabon, who are already in the driver's seat having defeated India in the home match 4-1, today managed their away match to end in a 2-2 draw and secured the second round qualification.

India today needed a 3-0 win against Lebanon to qualify for the second phase.

Sunil Chetri in the 30th minute and Bhaichung Bhutia in the injury time of the second half scored for India. Substitute Mohammed Ghaddar scored in the 75th and 86th minutes for Lebanon.

India, who dominated the major part of the first half, shot into the lead in the 30th minute through striker Sunil Chetri, who neatly headed in a cross pass sent by Stevan Dias to make it 1-0.

Though India led in the first half, no penetrative moves were seen from both the teams and the play was restricted to mid-field.

India had a couple of gilt-edged opportunities to increase their lead in the first half.

Lebanon, who looked tired, did not impress in the first half and came up with only one good move in the 30th minute but El Ali Mohmoud, who made a good attempt, missed the target.

After the change over, Lebanon played with renewed vigour and made some desperate attempts for an equaliser and they succeeded in restoring the parity in the 75th minute through a penalty goal by substitue Mohammed Ghaddar.

The refree Mujghef Salem of Jordan awarded a spot kick to Lebabon when Indian goalkeeper Subrato Paul brought down Lebanon's El Ali Mahmoud, who was dangerously moving with the ball. Ghaddar made no mistake in converting the spot kick 1-1. The referee also flashed out a red card to Subrato Paul and gave him marching orders.

India were reduced to 10 men from 75th minute of the play and substitute goalkeeper Sandeep Nandy was brought in place of defender Samir Naik.

Inspired by the equaliser, the visitors continued to attack and increased their lead in the 86th minute through substitute Ghaddar off a pass from Rustom Paul to make it 2-1.

India levelled the score through captain Bhaichung Bhutia, whose header found the net following a flag kick taken by Stevan Dias during the injury minute of the second half to end the match in a 2-2 draw.

UNI

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