India beat Nepal to top group

Aug. 23, 2017 – India defeated Nepal 2-1 in their last Group 'B' match of the SAFF U-15 Championship at the ANFA Complex on Wednesday.

The win meant India qualified to the semi-finals with six points and will take on Bhutan in the semis to be played on August 25 at the Halchowk Stadium at 3 PM. Nepal, runner up of Group B, will meet Group 'A' winner Bangladesh in another semi-final to be played at the ANFA Complex simultaneously.

Goals from Skipper VIKRAM PRATAP SINGH and RAVI BAHADUR RANA helped the visitors overcome the home team. The only goal for Nepal was scored by skipper Roshan Rana Magar.  

India took the lead in the 27th minute with through Skipper VIKRAM PRATAP SINGH.

From one attacking move, Nepal earned a spot kick in the 40th minute after SISHIR LEKHI was fouled by MOIRANGTHEM THOIBA SINGH and in the 41st minute. Skipper ROSHAN RANA MAGAR scored from a rebound after his first attempt was punched to safety by India keeper Lalbiakhlua Jongte.

India, however, came back strongly after the interval and they were seen as the better side.

In the 64th minute RAVI BAHADUR RANA headed the ball home utilizing a free kick off GIVSON SINGH to stun the home crowd.

Commenting about the match, Nepal head coach SUNIL KUMAR SHRESTHA said that the he is not satisfied with his boys’ performance.

“The outcome of the match was beyond my expectations. The boys were able to hold ball possession in just final fifteen minutes,” said SHRESTHA in the post match conference. “We have many areas to improve in the semi-final against Bangladesh. The semi is going to be tough.”  

India coach BIBIANO FERNANDES, meanwhile, said Nepal played better than their last outing against the Maldives and was hoping to play against Nepal in the finals.

"Nepal were very good today. They posed a serious threat to us. I agree that the match was a little physical but that prepares both the teams well for the upcoming AFC U-16 Championship 2018 Qualifiers. The home crowd was a plus point for Nepal. In this sort of atmosphere where the crowd is very close to the audience it gives more advantage to the home team," he said.