Indian Football Is Now On The Rise
India hosted the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in 2021.
The national team had to withdraw from the tournament after players and staff contacted Covid-19 following their goalless draw with Iran.
Due to carelessness off the field, their final two group games were lost and the host nation, India, was eliminated.
Gokulam Kerala FC defended their I-League and Indian Women’s League titles, while Jamshedpur FC and Hyderabad FC won the League winners’ trophy and the Indian Super league trophy, respectively.
At the AFC Champions League, Mumbai City FC made India proud by defeating Air Sports Club Iraq twice in the group stage.
Gokulam Kerala shocked ATK Mohun Bagan in the first game of the AFC Cup, but ATK Mohun Bagan advanced from the group with consecutive victories and a better goal difference.
However, in the subsequent round, ATKMB was unexpectedly defeated by Kuala Lumpur City FC of Malaysia in the AFC Cup Inter-Zonal Semi-Finals.
For the first time, all 11 ISL teams competed in the Durand Cup, which took place in Kolkata’s Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan and Kolkata’s Kishore Bharati Krirangan, Guwahati’s Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, and Imphal’s Khuman Lampak stadium.
Mohammedan SC, Hyderabad FC, Bengaluru FC, and Mumbai City FC advanced to the semifinals, along with six ISL teams, in the knockout stages.
In the final, Bengaluru FC defeated Mumbai City FC to win their first Durand Cup. Sunil Chhetri had previously won all of the major Indian football championships.
In Mallapuram, the Santosh Trophy was back in full force as hosts Kerala won their seventh national title with a penalty kick victory over Bengal in front of a sold-out crowd.
With victories over Hong Kong, Afghanistan, and Cambodia at Kolkata’s packed Saltlake Stadium, the men’s football team secured their spot in the AFC Asian Cup.
Later in the year, the Indian women’s football team resumed play, but they were unable to advance to the final of the 2022 SAFF Women’s Champions.
India won the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship in Jamshedpur, the SAFF U-20 Men’s Championship in Bhubaneshwar, and the SAFF U-17 Men’s Championship in Sri Lanka in age-group football.
In the AFC U-17 Asian Cup Qualifiers, India crushed Maldives (5-0), Kuwait (3-0) and Myanmar (4-1), however lost to has Saudi Arabia (1-2) in the gathering stage.
However, India was able to reach the finals as one of the six best teams in second place
The U-20 team did not have as much luck, losing to Australia and Iraq (4-2) but winning 2-1 over Kuwait to finish their AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
After some “difficulty,” the main event, the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2022, followed. India lost 8-0 to the USA, lost 0-3 to Morocco, and lost 0-5 to Brazil to end their humiliating campaign.