10-man Nepal go down to India

June 6, 2017 - Ten-man Nepal went down to India 2-0 in a friendly match held at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai on Tuesday.

A goal each in the second from Sandesh Jingham in the hour’s mark and Jeje Lalpekhula in the 78th minute killed off the contest that saw Nepal reduced to 10 men after skipper Biraj Maharjan received his marching orders in the 67th minute.

The first half of the match was evenly balanced with both teams concentrating their play in the middle of the park. Other than the towering presence of Robin Singh in the left flank, India never really posed any threat to Nepal.

Nawawug Sherestha had the best chance of the first half when he was released by Bimal Gharti Magar with just the onrushing keeper to beat. Shrestha shot slightly wide off the mark in an open post after he quickly got on his feet following a collision with the keeper.

India appeared a different team in the second half. Goal scorer Jeje was a live-wire for the Indian side leading the attacks that were produced aplenty.  He forced a diving save from Kiran Chemjong in 52nd minute just minutes before Rohit Chand made a goal-line clearance.

It was Jeje who assisted Jigham for the opener beautifully chesting the ball on his path for the latter to blast it home one-time.

For the second goal, Jeje connected Mohammed Rafique’s pass fed to him inside the penalty box.

Though it was tough encounter for Nepal playing away from home , coach Koji Gyotoku took a tough decision sending in uncapped Hemanth Thapa Magar and Bimal Basnet  in the second half.

For both the teams the friendly was played in preparation for the upcoming matches of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers. Nepal is hosting Yemen on June 13, while India take on Kyrgyz Republic on the same day.

" Creating chances and not scoring has always been our problem. The same thing happened in this match as well. India is a good team with good a physique. No wonder they have reached 100 in the FIFA ranking," said Koji. " The match gave us an idea of our weaknesses and and a chance to correct them before the match against Yemen."