Nehru Cup 2012: India thrashed Maldives 3-0

India secures a comfortable win over Maldives in Nehru Cup 2012

India 3-0 Maldives
India: Sunil Chhetri(45+1',69'), Syed Rahim Nabi(54')

It was the Skipper again leading from the front as a brace from Sporting Lisbon forward Sunil Chhetri and a goal from Syed Rahim Nabi saw India through to a memorable win over Maldives. Thankfully it was not raining when the match started and India were once again cautious in their approach during the first half of the game. Maldives had the domination but Indian defenders and midfielders didnt gave them enough space to work their way to the goal that easily. Despite making some good attacks Maldives conceded the lead thanks to a penalty awarded by them when a cross from constantly overlapping Syed Rahim Nabi hit a Maldives defender's hand. It was captain Sunil Chhetri who calmly slotted the ball past the Maldives custodian to give India a lead before the lemon break.

India came back to the second half with more intent and a bit more pressure on the Maldives team which payed dividend as Maldives players were finding it difficult to build up anything from the midfield. East Bengal striker Robin Singh was introduced in place of his club-mate Sanju Pradhan and he made his presence felt with his physique. Combining well with Chhetri, Robin troubled the Maldives defense sometimes from wide positions and sometimes getting into scoring position himself. In the 54th minute a corner from Clifford Miranda saw the ever-so-versatile Syed Rahim Nabi adding his name to the scoring sheets after heading a good ball to the Maldives net to give India a much more comfortable 2-0 lead. India did not contain itself from attacking as the constant pressing game was on. Francis Fernandes was a liveware on the field after he was asked to play in the right wing position, making some great runs and providing some fruitful diagonal balls. Robin Singh got one such good ball from Francis but could not connect the ball properly to open his score sheet for India in his debut. Meanwhile, Sunil Chhetri was always busy going for every ball be it in his zone or be it in the defense.  It was Francis Fernandes who supplied an excellent ball to the Indian Skipper which was superbly headed home by Chhetri, diving low to meet the ball neatly, in the 70th minute of the gave thus sealing the game at that moment for the Blue Tigers. Chhetri could have made himself a hat-trick boy if he could have slotted the ball to the net from a good position with the goalkeeper beaten, but he only saw his effort struck the post. Nevertheless, India managed to seal a comfortable 3-0 victory over Maldives and the coach Wim Koevermans should be pleased with the performance if not ecstatic.

India's top performers of the day: Sunil Chhetri, Syed Rahim Nabi, Francis Fernandes

India next play Nepal on 27th September.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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