India drub listless Nepal

India drub listless Nepal

India warmed up nicely for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup qualifier match against Kyrgyzstan as they outclassed lower-ranked Nepal 2-0 in an international football friendly here on Tuesday.

India dominated for mosts part but had to wait till the 15th minute of the second half to take the lead when defender Sandesh Jhingan found the target.

Another strike in the 79th minute by the hardworking striker Jeje Lalpekhlua sealed Nepal’s fate and gave hosts the win.

Despite the victory, Stephen Constantine would not be a pleased man as India squandered a number of chances in the first half, mostly by striker Robin Singh, who was replaced at the start of the second half.
India now take on Kyrgyzstan at Bengaluru on June 13.

India started the game without their talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri. His job was given to Holicharan Narzary who was replaced by Seityasen Singh midway into the second half.

India also commenced the game without key medio Eugeneson Lyngdoh but he had to be brought in once Rowlinson Borges left the field after picking up an injury.

It was Borges who provided Robin with his first chance with a through pass down the middle which the tall striker booted wide of the post from the left side in the 10th minute.

At the other end, Norway-based custodian Gurpreet was tested first by a long range shot from Arjan Bista which he coolly collected before he had a rush of blood that nearly put India one-nil down.

He rushed out to the top of the box on seeing Shreshta surge forward to tackle him, but luckily for him and the home side, the Nepalese shot wide of the post. The second half saw the fumbling Robin being replaced by Daniel Lalhimpuia as the Indians showed more intent.

Nepal had a close shave when Anan Edathodika headed goalwards off a corner only to see his attempt being blocked by the visiting custodian Kiran Kumar Limbu.

The Nepal goalie then foiled substitute Bikash Jairu before being beaten by Jhingan’s effort that hit the underside of the bar and went in to give India the lead in 60th minute.

Nepal captain Biraj Maharjan was sent off for a foul on Jairu in the 68th minute. Nepal’s citadel, however, fell again under the sustained spell of pressure from the Indians and the goal-getter was Jeje Lalpekhlua who slotted home off a pass from the left by Mohd Rafique in the 79th minute to give the home side a 2-0 win.

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