The experienced duo of Sunil Chhetri and Clifford Miranda were on target as India beat Nepal 2-0 in a comfortable win
India won 2-0 against Nepal in an international friendly held at the Kanchanjangha Stadium in Siliguri on Tuesday evening. Sunil Chhetri's first half strike put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute before Clifford Miranda doubled their lead three minutes after the break.
East Bengal's Lalrindika Ralte and Dempo SC's Narayan Das were handed a start by coach Wim Koevermans with the latter making his international debut while Lenny Rodrigues and Gurjinder Kumar were benched in favour of the duo. Those were the only changes made to the line-up that faced Philippines last week.
Nepal coach Jack Stefanowski made two changes to his team that last faced India at the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship with Jumanu Rai and Bikram Lama coming in for Rohit Chand and Bharat Khawas.
The match started with Sunil Chhetri failing to latch on to a pass by Robin Singh in the sixth minute but the skipper pounced on another opportunity later on in the half, becoming India's all-time top scorer, surpassing former captain Bhaichung Bhutia's record of 42 international goals.
The Bengaluru FC striker scored his 43rd international goal after an attempt by Robin Singh bounced back off Nepali goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong and Chhetri was on hand to tuck in the rebound in the 21st minute.
Jumanu Rai tried to hit back on the counter but his attempt was thwarted by the Indian defense as Aibor Khonjee had another good day at the office after making his international debut against Philippines on Friday.
Chhetri looked for his second of the evening from a header off Clifford Miranda's cross in the 27th minute, but his attempt landed on the roof of the net.
As the Blue Tigers continued to build on their momentum, Robin saw another shot blocked by Chemjong after combining well with Mehtab Hossain and Miranda.
Keeping up to the aggression shown by the Indian midfield in the first half, the home team doubled their lead in the 48th minute when a pass by Robin which was initially intended for Ralte fell at the feet of Miranda who blasted home.
The Gorkhalis were left under constant attack by Koevermans' side as Chhetri had an opportunity which was averted by a Nepali defender after Robin's shot that rebounded off the bar.
The visitors failed to create any clear-cut chances in attack and despite forcing their way into India's half towards the end of the game, the hosts were able to keep a clean sheet and secure the win.
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