11.6 C
New York
Saturday, April 20, 2024

Draw hurts India's final charge

With two wins in previous games, India were expected to have it easy against a struggling Nepal outfit in the Nehru Cup yesterday. That was not to be as the eastern neighbours put up a doughty display to fend of Sunil Chhetri & Co.

Sunil Chhetri

The goalless draw took leaders India to seven points while Nepal grabbed their first point of the tournament. Persistent rain in the capital made things difficult, as both teams struggled to adjust to slippery conditions. India failed to stitch together even one descent move in the first quarter.    Nepal, who had a disappointing last match against Cameroon (5-0), were determined to put up a better show and that’s what they managed. Their determination paid off as they created some good chances in the first half. Nepal’s Jagajit Shrestha and Sandeep Rai gave India some tense moments but the defenders stood strong to keep them at bay. The Indian mid-field which had shown glimpses of excellence against Maldives, was completely off colour yesterday. The likes of Lenny Rodrigues and Clifford Miranda struggled in muggy conditions and were substituted in the second half by coach Wim Koevermans.    With not even a single shot on goal, Koevermans brought in striker Robin Singh instead of Clifford Miranda at the start of the second half. The East Bengal player made an instant impact when he stole a ball in the mid-field and passed it to Chettri, who cut in and fed Anthony Pereira. The Goan found himself in front of the box and lashed in a beautiful shot which was acrobatically saved by Nepal keeper Chemjong.    India started dominating proceedings thereafter but couldn’t convert the chances. Shaikh Jewel Raja was brought on but his presence did little to change the scoreline.

Related Articles

Latest Articles