Kathmandu – Spirited performance late on could not avoid defeat for Nepal as India registered a 2-1 victory in the second international friendly match played at Dasharath Stadium in Tripureshwor on Sunday.
Despite holding the ball in possession, Nepal’s lack of finishing cost the team dear. India took the lead in the 62nd minute after Chinglensana Singh Konsam’s cross was sent into the box by captain Sunil Chhetri. Unmarked second-half substitute Farukh Chaudhary scored to give India a 1-0 lead.
Captain Sunil Chhetri doubled India’s lead in the 80th minute after a swift counterattack. Sujal Shrestha’s free-kick was punched by goalkeeper Amarinder Singh and Chhetri combined with Aniruddh Thapa to run with the ball from halfway to score in a 1v1 situation from inside the box.
Tej Tamang scored in the 87th minute to make it 2-1. His 25-yard screamer gave no chance for Amarinder to save. Nepal had held India for a 1-1 draw in the previous match.
After the friendly match, the Nepali team will leave for Qatar on Friday for the final preparations of the SAAF Championship. From there, they will go to the Maldives to participate in the fair championship which will start on September 30. Nepal will start its journey of a clean championship by playing against the previous winner Maldives, which is also the organizer.
Maldives had defeated Nepal 3-0 in the semi-finals of the 2018 SAAF Championship in Bangladesh. That edition was won by the Maldives. This time the participation of 5 teams in the championship will be played in a round-robin format. Nepal and India will compete in the SAAF Championship on September 8. After the round-robin, the top two teams will play in the final.