In the opening leg of FIFA WC Russia 2018 Joint Qualifier the bright and new looking Indian team defeated visitors Nepal 2-0 while former national skipper missed his hat-trick.
11 new faces on the field as new coach Stephen Constantine´s squad looked bright and confident with 7 debutants.
The Indian side enjoyed the ball possession from the very beginning and invaded the Nepalese back line quite often. The blue tigers looked dangerous and got an early free kick in the fifth minute.
Nepalese side on the other hand struggled to settle in the field though they came very close to take the lead in the 24th minute when Bharat Kawas did well to run into the box but newly appointed Indian Skipper Subrata Pal´s swiftness averted the danger.
Just after the half an hour mark Sunil and Robin combo looked dangerous as the duo built some good move but Robin Singh was not lucky enough to place the ball inside the net a number of times.
The final ten minutes before the half-time witnessed some brilliant display of game by new Indian side with Banguluru Fc duo Sunil and Robin.
Blue tiger could have ended the half time with 4-0 had they found the net from all the chances they have created.
Blue tiger started second half right from where they had stopped in the first half and Sunil-Robin combo looked dangerous again and finally they got rewarded in the 55th minute when Sunil Chhetri´s brilliant 25 yarder left footed shot was miscalculated by the Nepalese custodian Kiran Thapa and could not stop the ball to roll over the goal line into the net.
Ten minutes later India´s second goal was disallowed when Jakichand received the ball off a deflection and pushes in past the goal line but the flag was up as Sunil was caught off side.
However, in the 72nd minute, Sunil Chhetri´s long distance brilliance proved viral again As the vice captain yet again struck from outside the box giving no chance for rival custodian. Kiran Thapa though brilliantly denied hat trick for Sunil when Cavin Lobo was brought down inside the box and blues tigers vice captain Steps in to take the advantage.
Blue tiger looked hungry for the goal as they continued to vouch for the third even in the dying minute.
Jack Stefanowski side continued to struggle till the end as they had created just a couple moves throughout the game.
India will now Play Gorkhalis in their home soil on 17th March
Re-live; India 2-0 Nepal
Newly appointed Indian coach Stephen Constantine starts with a Win against rivals Nepal.
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