Adil Khan recalls his memorable last-minute equalizer against Bangladesh

A year on since the Indian national team’s memorable last-gasp draw against Bangladesh in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup and 2022 FIFA World Cup joint qualifiers, defender Adil Khan relived some of the emotions during a chat with AIFF’s Instagram handle. Despite scoring the dramatic equaliser on the night, Hyderabad FC’s Adil made it clear that he was more satisfied with his goal-line clearance that kept the score at 1-0 than his last-minute goal which was his first in national colours.

“As a defender, the goal-line clearance was more satisfying. If I did not make that save, the goal I scored would have been in vain. We would have been down 2-0, so the clearance was crucial for the team. Yes, it was my first goal for the national team and I feel proud of it, but the clearance is what makes me even happier when I look back at that day,” Adil said.

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While recollecting some moments from the match in front of a jam-packed and vociferous Salt Lake Stadium, Adil admitted that the last 10 minutes of the encounter was unforgettable for him personally. “The goal-line clearance and the last-minute equalizer that gave us a crucial point from a losing position to go forward in that tournament will always stay with me,” he said.

The 32-year-old also revealed what he had discussed with FC Goa midfielder and India’s set-piece specialist Brandon Fernandes before the match. “We always discuss these things. Brandon and I share a room and travel together with the national team. Before the match I told him that I have a feeling I might score and asked him to target me with corners and free-kicks,” Adil shared.

“In the game, before that corner, the Bangladeshi players were marking Sunil Chettri on all set-pieces, so I told Brandon to hit the first post as I will attack it and requested Chettri to fall to the far post for a bluff, and it worked perfectly for us,” he added.

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