India - Nepal Preview: The Blue Tigers need atleast a point to confirm a semi-finals berth
The last Group A encounter sees India square up against hosts Nepal as the fate of all four teams from the group still hangs in the balance
By Kaustav Bera
The last round was a downer for both India and Nepal as both struggled to garner a point from their unfancied opposition. While India needed a late Sunil Chhetri goal to equalise against a rampaging Bangladesh, Nepal was also saved from humiliation by an extra time goal by Bimal Nagar against a resolute Pakistan.
India skipper Sunil Chhetri thinks India are still favourites from Group A.
"We know that we are a good team. If you reall calculate having 12-to-15 chances in two games, it is not good enough in this level. We really have to buckle up and be calm in front of the goal."
While only needing a point to confirm qualification, Chhetri was gunning for nothing less than a victory.
"At the end of the day, we have to win the next match. We are not thinking about the semi-final yet, we're only thinking about the next game. We're going to go for a win against Nepal."
The Bengaluru FC striker also was of the opinion that the team needed a convincing win to settle down.
"We haven't won matches. We lost against Tajikistan, we lost against Myanmar before that, so it's playing on their mind. The moment we start winning, the team will settle down."
Meanwhile for Nepal, Sagar Thapa was cautious to say that although a win would be priority, they would also be content with playing out a stalemate.
"We will definitely try to win the match but we also don’t want to loose the match at any cost. Although we can finish in top even if we finish the match in draw, we want a win. We must be aware of Indian as they are the defending champions.”
A draw between the two teams will see Nepal finishing winners and India second in the group on goal difference with both being tied on five points after the dead heat.
A Nepal win might mean that the Blue Tigers would have to rely on results of the other matches for their progression chances. A Pakistan win will take India through, while a Bangaldesh win will mean looking at Goal Difference to determine who goes through as runners up.
If India manage a victory however, Nepal will go through if Bangladesh wins against Pakistan while Goal Difference will come into play in case of a Pakistan victory.
Wim Koevermans can rely on a full squad for this all important match while Jack Stefanowski has midfielder Jagjit Shrestha out with an injury.
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Top 3 Predictions
India 0-2 Nepal
- 24.06 %
India 1-2 Nepal
- 16.58 %
India 0-1 Nepal
- 10.7 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||19-Nov-2013||India 2 - Nepal 0|
|SAFF Championship (SAFF)||05-Sep-2013||India 1 - Nepal 2|
|Nehru Cup (INDN)||28-Aug-2012||India 0 - Nepal 0|
|19-Nov-2013||India 2 - Nepal 0||FR|
|15-Nov-2013||India 1 - Philippines 1||FR|
|11-Sep-2013||Afghanistan 2 - India 0||SAFF|
|09-Sep-2013||Maldives 0 - India 1||SAFF|
|05-Sep-2013||India 1 - Nepal 2||SAFF|
|-||Syed Rahim Nabi|