• Thu. Jul 7th, 2022

Nepal vs India, Men’s International Football Friendly Highlights: India Draw 1-1 with Nepal


Sep 2, 2021

Nepal vs India, Men’s International Football Friendly Highlights: India draw 1-1 against Nepal in the first of the two international friendlies in Kathmandu. India were unable to produce much substance even after the goal and Nepal were even able to push India hard towards the end. Anirudh Thapa scores on the rebound to draw India level after Sunil Chhetri’s thumping long-ranger after kept out by Kiran Limbu. Anirudh Thapa and Rahim Ali comes on as half time substitutes, replacing Brandon Fernandes and Glan Martins, respectively. India did not have a single shot on target in the first half and Sunil Chhetri was completely marked out of the first 45 minutes. Anjan Bista makes the best of a defensive lapse from India to give Nepal the lead in the 36th minute.

The Indian men’s football team play one of their two friendlies against Nepal at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu on Thursday at 5:15PM. The friendlies are in preparation of the SAFF Championships, which will be held in Maldives from October 3 to 13. Follow News18Sports’ live blog for all the updates from the match.

This will be the first time India will feature in an international game since playing Afghanistan in their final group match of the 2018 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint-qualifiers in Qatar on June 15. The second friendly against Nepal will be held on September 5. The weather conditions are likely to be rainy for the match as there were dark clouds hovering in the sky on Wednesday. The pitch conditions at the practice ground were also already tough because of the downpour.

Head coach Igor Stimac felt the two friendlies will help India prepare well for the SAFF Championships next month. “We are happy to be here and happy to be together again. These two international friendlies will help us prepare for the forthcoming SAFF Championship in the Maldives next month. I just know these games will be good and we need to learn on the pitch.”

“I hope that we don’t suffer heavy rains during the matches so that we can play some exciting football,” Stimac said. “We have analysed Nepal as an opponent and the kind of progress they made in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. They have put on display that they can play quality football and can defend as a team. My colleague has done a good job and there are a lot of young players in the squad.”

The talismanic India captain Sunil Chhetri is the crowd favourite. Right from landing at the airport to the team hotel to the practice sessions, locals request him for a click.

“I will admit that I have a soft corner for Nepal. But, it ends the moment I step on the pitch. My mom is from Nepal and whatever sporting culture and discipline has been inculcated is all because of my mom,” Chhetri said.

“Nepal has always made it very difficult for us on the football pitch, and we are not expecting anything less. Playing Nepal at home and outside Nepal are two different things, and let’s not forget that they are the home team here.”

Nepal coach Abdullah Almutairi admitted that he has worked a lot on “changing the mentality of his players.”

“I don’t want to make people happy, rather I want to make them proud. We have been training for the last two months and there are a lot of youngsters in the squad.

“Our target is to win the SAFF Championship in the Maldives, and eventually qualify for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023. We don’t care about FIFA Rankings. It will not be easy for them (India).”

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