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Sunil Chhetri leads India 2-0 victory over Nepal

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  13 March 2015 12:00 AM GMT

By our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI, March 12: India beat Nepal 2-0 in 2018 World Cup Qualifiers Prelimiry Joint Qualification Round 1 match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here today. Both the goals came from Sunil Chhetri.

The first goal came from Chhetri's left foot to the left corner of the rival Goalkeeper Limbu Kumar and the second off his right foot to the right corner of Limbu. Chhetri could easily completed hat trick in the game if he didn't fail to convert a spot kick which was awarded to India after Cavin Lobo was brought down in the box by Sandip Rai in the second half.

Although ISL matches witnessed good turn out but it was completely different scene today at the Indira Gandhi athletic stadium. Around 10,000 spectators were present in the stadium to witness the India-Nepal tie. Local boy Holicharan rzary turned out for India this game but for a few seconds only as Constantine brought him in during the injury time to replace Robin Singh.

India were not off to the best of starts in this game. Five debutants- Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal, Saumik Dey, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, all were in the first XI, and Jakichand singh made their debut for India in this game, Though it seemed inevitable that the new combition would strike the chord soonest, it took a bit of time to actually come into play. And once it did after the first 25 minutes, Stephen Constantine's India just ran away with it.

India first had a shy at the rival goal in the 11th minute when an one-two between Sunil Chhetri and Robin Singh opened up the rival defence but Robin's shot couldn't trouble Nepal Goalkeeper Limbu Kiran.

Robin was again in the thick of action in the 34th and the 35th minutes respectively. On the first occasion, he latched on to a ball played just behind the defence but his rasping left footer went over.

The very next minute, Lalrindika Ralte's perfectly essayed floater found Robin in the clear and even as on onrushing Limbu tried to rrow the angle, Robin's placement just went wide.

The Sunil-Robin combine was slowly starting to bloom by then. In the 41st minute, Sunil collected, shielded and found Robin but only for the latter's shot to be deflected for a corner off which Arb Mondal's header sailed over.

The second half was totally domited by India. It was all one-way traffic. The quick interchanging, speedy counter attacks and pressing proved too hot for Nepal. Although India scored two goals in that half but could easily increase the victory margin. Jackichand went close to scoring India's third in the 84th minute. His initial shot was blocked but he pulled the trigger again only to see it go agonisingly wide.

India will now travel to Kathmandu to play the second leg match. The game will be held on March 17.

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