An injury-time goal by captain Sunil Chhetri saved India some embarrassment in a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in their second group match at the SAFF Football Championship in Kathmandu on Tuesday.
The defending champions, who had scraped past Pakistan 1-0 in their campaign opener thanks to an own goal by the rival skipper, dished out another disappointing show at the Halchowk stadium.
Wim Koevermans's men were on the verge of defeat, after Atiqur Rahman Meshu had put Bangladesh ahead in the 82nd minute, before Chhetri equalised in the 94th minute with the last kick of the match.
Chhetri, who was off-colour all through the match, scored from a free-kick to give India a point from the match and four from two outings.
They play hosts Nepal on Thursday.
Kovermans tried all his tricks but without success. He made three changes in the second half, bringing in Dawson Fernandes, Arata Izumi and Robin Singh in place of Jeje Lalpekhlua, Lenny Rodrigues and Francis Fernandes respectively but a goal eluded his side till the fourth and final minute of the added time.
Three Indians -- Sunil Chhetri, Arnab Mondal and Nirmal Chhetri -- were also shown yellow cards by the referee.
India were the better side in the first half as they kept the ball, switched flanks and pressed for a early goal. It resulted in a flurry of chances that went abegging.
The first chance came in the eighth minute when an overlapping Nirmal Chettri found Francis Fernandes on the right. Francis, who was impressive with his timely runs, sped past Waly Faisal and essayed a centre but an unmarked Chhetri's volley just went over.
The next minute, another effort from Chhetri went off the mark and then Jewel Raja failed to pull the trigger after the trio of Lenny Rodrigues, Mehtab Hossain and Chhetri had done the spadework.
Image: Gouramangi Singh head over the Bangladesh crossbar
Photograph: AIFF Media