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Nepal vs India: The neighbours finish the international friendly match tied at 1-1

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The Indian men’s football team returns to international competition for the first time since June when they face Nepal in two international friendlies at the Dasharath Stadium in Kathmandu on September 2 and 5. On Thursday, September 2 at 5:15 p.m. IST, the Asian neighbours met for the first time.

After a two-week training camp in Kolkata, the Blue Panthers arrived in Kathmandu on Monday with a 25-member Indian football squad. This will be the team’s first trip to the Himalayan nation since 2015 when the two met in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoffs.

Meanwhile, both sides will use the two international friendlies as a warm-up. The two national teams will be pitted against each other in the forthcoming South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship, which will begin in October. In the 2021 edition of the SAFF Championship, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives will compete for the prized trophy.

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credit – ndtvsports.com

Before the Match

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Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh, and Farukh Choudhary will lead the attack, while Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be the shot-stopper. Rahim Ali, a striker, and Seriton Fernandes, a defender, will be among the team’s newcomers.

Sandesh Jhingan, a senior defender, is one of the players who will be absent due to injury. Rowllin Borges, Udanta Singh, and AshiqueKuruniyan, the midfield trio, have been left out.

Nepal will also be eager for a win against India to show that they aren’t a pushover. In terms of FIFA rankings, they are below Stimac and his colleagues. They will play without pressure because they are the underdogs in this match. Another thing to keep in mind is that they have the benefit of playing at home! All of this implies that, even though it is Friendly, the match has a lot riding on it.

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India and Nepal will want to win both matches and gain a head start in the forthcoming SAFF Championship.

Match Highlights

The Blue Tigers take the field first and kick off the game. They receive an early chance and a corner as well, but Nepal finally scores with a goal-kick. In the opening few minutes, Dinesh Rajbanshi is unquestionably Nepal’s star. As India continues to search for their first goal, he has a string of no-nonsense clearances.

India was making too many mistakes, especially in midfield, and Nepal, having intriguing counter-attacks, is unable to exploit. India has a great chance to score, but Kiran Limbu, the Nepal goalie, saves the day by punching the ball away. He also gets a free kick in the end.

Chinglensana Singh attempts a poorly-timed back pass, resulting in a major defensive blunder for the Blue Tigers. AnjanBista scored the goal after latching on to the ball, finding space inside the India area, and slotting it into the net.

The Blue Tigers, on the other hand, make a comeback thanks to a combined effort from Sunil Chhetri and Anirudh Thapa, who both scored. Kiran Limbu dived to stop Chhetri’s spectacular strike, but the loose ball is nudged into the net by an onrushing Thapa.

The Blue Tigers have looked considerably better in the offensive third in the second half than they did in the first. The game finished in a stalemate.

India’s performance versus SAFF rivals was yet another disappointment. India did have more possession and finished the game on a high note. Igor Stimac’s guys, on the other hand, appear to be far from a well-oiled machine. The game was littered with clumsy passes and errant shots. Both sides appeared to be lacking in coordination.

Men in Blue nevertheless looked to their captain Sunil Chhetri for inspiration, and the 37-year-old delivered, as he usually does. Both teams will face again on Sunday, September 5th, in the hopes of a better result.

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