Sabitra Bhandari's double helps Nepal to 2-2 draw against India

  • 2023-02-16

Nepal came from 2-0 down and scored two in two minutes to secure an entertaining 2-2 draw against India in the first friendly of the national women's team in Chennai on Wednesday.

India had scored two second half goals through Soumya Guguloth and Indumathi Kathiresan before Bhandari pulled one back from the penalty spot added another two minutes later.

The first half of the game saw both the sides missing opportunities to take the lead. Sandhiya Ranganathan's effort went wide in just the fourth minute before Rashmi Ghising's shot was saved by Indian goalie Aditi Chauhan.  Sabitra Bhandari also saw her shot go wide after the half-hour mark.

India was the better side in the start of the second half and took the lead through Guguloth in the 54th minute. Her shot bounced off the ground and went into the net over Nepali keeper Anjila Tumbapo. Kathiresan doubled the advantage in the 68th when she was at the end of a cross by Karthika Angamuthu.

Nepal looked for an inspiration from somewhere and found from a penalty towards the final few minutes of the regular time. Sweety Devi handled the ball inside the box and the resulting penalty was calmly slotted home by Bhandari in the 90th minute. Two minutes later, Bhandari took advantage of a defensive lapse and levelled the game.

Nepal could have scored a third and claimed the victory but Preeti Rai's left-footed shot in the added minutes sailed over the bar.

The two sides will meet again on February 18 for the second friendly.

(File photo)

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