SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015: Lallianzuala scores two as India breeze past Nepal

SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015
India beat Nepal 4-1 to make it to the semi-finals of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015
SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015
Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala
India 4-1 Nepal
India: Rowlin Borges(26th), Sunil Chhetri(67th), Lallianzuala(81st, 89th)
Nepal: Bimal Nagar(3rd)

Team India ghosted past Nepal to book their place int he semi finals of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 with a 4-1 victory at the Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala on 27th December 2015. Rowlin Borges and Sunil chhetri scored one goal a piece while Lallianzuala scored a brace for the Blue Tigers after Bimal Nagar gave the visiting Nepali team an early lead.

After defeating Sri Lanka 2-0, the Blue Tigers needed a win or a draw to directly qualify for the semi-finals. Nepal however had other plans as the shocked India by taking the lead in the 3rd minute when Bimal Nagar capitalized on a rebound after some good work from the left side. It was Rowlin Borges who equalized for team India in the 26th minute when he blasted the ball home from close range.

India vs Nepal: SAFF Championship 2015
Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri celebrates with his team mates after
scoring the second goal against Nepal
Stephen Constantine introduced young striker Lallianzuala replacing Sanju Pradhan on half time. Robin Singh's injury setback meant team India lacked a genuine target man. However Lallianzuala provided a different kind of threat with his pace on the right side constantly troubling the Nepali defence.

Shortly after the play resumed after the lemon break, Subrata Paul who replaced Gurpreet Singh Sandhu between the sticks made a fine stop to deny a second goal for Nepal. It was Sunil Chhetri who gave India the deserved lead when he showed his goal scoring instincts to toe-poke the ball home in the 67th minute. Few seconds later, Lallianzuala looked set to double the lead only to be cleared inches from the goal by an alert Nepali defender. India pressed further with Jeje Lalpekhlua testing the Nepali custodian in the 76th minute.

All Goals in the SAFF Suzuki Cup Group-A game between India and Nepal.
Posted by Indian Football on Sunday, December 27, 2015

Then came the highlight of the match with 18-year old Lallianzuala dodged past his marked with some step-overs before unleashing a fierce left footed effort to the top corner of the net. It was a moment to cherish for the young striker who made his debut against Sri Lanka. However it was not the only goal for him as he breezed past the Nepali defence yet again in the 89th minute after being released by Borges to head the ball to the net. This was after Stephen Constantine handed Kousik Sarkar a senior team debut(503rd player to do so) replacing Augustine Fernandes in the 87th minute.

The scoreline read 4-1 when the final whistle was blown as India marched to the semi-finals of the tournament. Nepal thus were knocked out of the tournament with Sri Lanka qualifying as the second team from Group A while Afghanistan and Maldives have already booked their tickets for semi-finals from Group B.
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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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