India were expected to come out as winners when it was announced that Nepal would be travelling for a friendly in place of Lebanon. India were the better side for most of the match but the Nepalese players did give them a few scares. That is a credit to a team that lack proper training facilities in their home country. Robin Singh wasted quite a few chances but Jeje’s love story with Mumbai continued as he scored another goal in India colours. India now play Kyryz Republic in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers June 13 at Bengaluru.
India 2-0 Nepal: Match highlights
FULL TIME: India beat Nepal 2-0. India were disciplined for the better part of the match and, save for that horror that keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu gave the defence towards the end of the first half, this has been a straightforward win for them. It may only be against Nepal, who are minnows on the basis of the rankings, but this match shows a marked difference in India’s confidence going into the match
86 min: Jeje takes a shot on the volley and Limbu makes another good save. The Nepalese keeper has been brilliant throughout the game
77 min: GOAL!! Jeje makes it two for India. And the attacks bear fruit, Rafique runs down the right and provides a ball along the ground into the middle, the Nepalese defence is completely caught out and Jeje takes it first time and turns it into the bottom corner
74 min: Wave after wave of Indian attacks now, it will be a surprise if Jhingan’s strike ends up being the only goal that India score in the match
67 min: Red Card for Biraj Maharjan of Nepal and it is a free-kick just outside the box for India. It crashes into the box
64 min: Yellow card for Sandesh Jhingan, he has been buzzing since scoring that goal, needs to calm down a little
60 min: GOAL!! Sandesh Jhingan puts India in the lead. And finally it is in for India. Jackichand Singh lofts a ball into the box and Jeje, who is completely unmarked, chests it down and Jhingan takes volleys on the bounce and puts India ahead
57 min: Sandhu releases the ball forward and Narzary manages to get away from the Nepalese full back to put a low ball into the middle, Jeje takes the shot first time and yet again it is Kiran Kumar Limbu to the rescue for Nepal. India could have been at least five goals up by now
55 min: Big chance for India! Anas connected from a corner with his head but the Nepalese keeper keeps it out brilliantly
52 min: A Nepalese shot from distance and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had to make a brilliant save. Things are back to normal it seems for the man with the armband for India
50 min: The ball falls kindly for Jeje and he takes the shot first time well outside the box. A good connection and it had the direction but there was not enough power behind it and the Nepalese keeper holds on to it
47 min: Nepal restart the match, India retake possession straight away but yet again, they are unable to find a good shot on target
HALF TIME: India have been the better side but that was an incredible blunder from the only Indian player to ever play for a top flight club. It will be something that he won’t be too proud of. Robin Singh also will be ruing some missed chances from the first half. India have shown some incredible fluidity in midfield and have been solid in defence but they are missing the clinical touch in the final third. Nepal, on the other hand, seem to have surprised India with their counter-attacks towards the end. India will also be worried about Roland Borges, who was taken off in the first half
45 min: Oh what a miss and India breath easy! A mistake in judgement for Gurpreet as he dashes forward for a ball that the Nepalese striker was chasing, he comes out of the box but does not clear the ball properly and suddenly, there is an open goal to put the ball into but Nepal miss it.
44 min: Well Nepal switched gears a little bit, pass the ball around in front of the Indian defence. A shot comes at the end of that attack from distance but it is straight into the hands of the keeper
42 min: Nepal now sitting deep and so the keeper gets his shoelaces tied leisurely. Nepal would be the happier team if the first half ends goalless
34 min: Jackichand puts it into the box and Robin Singh meets it with the head, it goes wide off the post
32 min: An absolutely beautiful move from India as Eugeneson makes a run through the middle, plays a one two with Robin Singh, gives it to Jeje and back to Eugeneson in the box, his shot is taken under pressure bit goes wide. That was a world-class move from India but no goal at the end of it
29 min: Eugeneson almost makes a difference as soon as he comes on, lofts a ball into the box and it comes to Robin but his shot sails above the crossbar
28 min: Change for India, Roland Borges taken off for Eugeneson Lyngdoh
23 min: Another big chance there for India, Jackichand sends in a cross from the right and Robin is in the middle. The latter rises above the defender and gets to the ball first but his header is wide. Robin has wasted a few good chances now
21 min: Sandhu makes no mistake with a shot at goal made by Nepal. That was the first real attempt made by the visitors. Thus far, it has been India on top, but no goals yet
15 min: A good move from India and the ball reaches Roland Borges, he was put under pressure and had to go for the volley. It comes off the foot of a Nepalese defender and out for a corner. The first corner leads to a second and in the second, Borges puts the cross in and Sandesh Jhingan goes for it, Nepalese keeper Kiran Kumar Limbu is the first to it and Jhingan gives away a free kick for colliding with the former
8 min: Robin Singh was released but he had to take the shot from a tight angle to the right of the goalkeeper, misses the far post
5 min: India kick-off proceedings at Mumbai, a reasonable crowd in the stadium and they make their presence known screaming ‘Vande Mataram’ at the top of their voices. Robin Singh goes down in the box in the fourth minute but referee does not point to the spot
6:52 pm: The teams are out on the pitch, the national anthems are being played, seconds away from kick-off
6:44 pm: So here are the starting XIs for the two side:
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) 6 June 2017
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) 6 June 2017
6:15 pm: Visas and last minute calls have led to Nepal making the trip to Mumbai. It was supposed to be Lebanon that were supposed to make the long trip to Mumbai but Indian laws on visas on arrival for Lebanese nationals meant that the country’s football association had to pull out of the match.
It acts as a warm-up for India before they take on Kyrgyzstan in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. India’s attack has been weakened for this match with captain Sunil Chettri and CK Vineeth sitting out. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be wearing the arm band in Chettri’s absence. Chettri had torn a hamstring while playing for Bengaluru FC in the Federation Cup last month. coach Stepehn Constantine said that Chettri has been left out so as to keep him fit for the match against Kyrgyz Republic.