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  • 6 October 2014
  • • 17:30
  • • Kanchanjangha Stadium, Siliguri
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India Palestine International Friendly

India 2-3 Palestine: Koevermans' side go down fighting

India Palestine International Friendly

Pradeep

The AFC Challenge Cup 2014 champions ran out winners against India yet again, albeit on a tight margin.

Wim Koevermans' tenure ended in bitter circumstances as Palestine edged India 3-2 at the Kanchenjunga stadium in Siliguri, on Monday evening.

There was only one change in the Blue Tigers ' first team as compared to the that which faced Bangladesh in the last international friendly played earlier this year as Raju Gaikwad replaced Narayan Das in the starting line-up, with the latter benched for the tie.

Ahmed M.M Wridat crossed the ball from the left flank and  Ashraf N.O Alfawaghra received it before rounding his marker and placing a well timed shot past India's custodian Subrata Paul to score the opening goal in the ninth minute.

A minute after the half hour mark, Koevermans' men levelled the scoreline. Palestine defender Abdallatif M.S Albahdari, while trying to clear the ball, lost control of it and Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri pounced on the error and found the back of the net.

Then in the 36th minute, Robin Singh passed to Lenny Rodrigues, whose attempted ball to Chhetri went towards Ramzi S.A Saleh. The Palestinian goalkeeper in turn failed to collect cleanly while Francis Fernandes fired in the rebound to put India in the lead for the first time in the match.

Post the interval however,  Hatham S.M Theeb drove the ball into the bottom left corner after receiving Ashraf N.O Alfawaghra's cross from the right in the 51st minute to make it 2-2.

Not too long after that,  Khader YA Abuhammad 's stiff low effort took a deflection off Indian defender Arnab Mondal before the post helped the ball in for Palestine to restore their lead in the 72nd minute.

Koevermans used only one subtitute in the match when he replaced Lenny with Izumi Arata in the 76th minute but India were unable to score another equaliser. The last time the two teams met, Palestine had won 4-2 in Kochi, where India were leading 2-1 at half-time.

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