India lifts Nehru cup third times, coach terms as 'incredible'
Now India has reason to celebrate as it has clinched the Nehru Cup trophy for third consecutive time by defeating Cameroon by 5-4 in Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Delhi. In the fully sensational and interesting final, which was being witnessed about 40,000 of spectators, result was declared in a penalty shootout where Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Denzil Franco, Mehtab Hossain and Clifford Miranda all scored and played as per the expectation of the country.
From India, skipper Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Denzil Franco, Mehtab Hossain and Clifford Miranda all scored from the spot while Thierry Makon struck the right-post to give India an unprecedented win.
However the Cameroon defence was not in proper pace as two Indian players were left completeily free. There was another bad news for Cameroon as its goalkeeper Ngome Lawrence had to be substituted after he collided with Gourmangi.
As the result remained not decisive in the stipulated time and hence match went into penalties where the valiant India held their more fancied opponents 2-2 in normal life.
Thierry also played a key role in Cameroon's second. His precise flag-kick allowed Kingue Mpondo to head into an open net in the 54th minute.
With things looking dim for India, Sunil Chhetri gave the fans their voice again from a well-taken spot-kick in the 78th minute. Mehtab Hossain's brilliant chipped through ball found the Indian captain in acres of space. Chhetri looked to have made a hash of things but recovered well only to be brought down by substitute keeper Nkessi Hosea.
India started the match the brighter of the two, continuously making inroads into the Cameroon third. Chhetri had the first shot of the match but his drive from well outside the box was easily saved.
Cameroon looked a little shell-shocked by India's aggressiveness in the first 20 minutes.
Gouramangi's goal seemed to wake Cameroon from its slumber. The Africans dominated the play thenceforth, putting the Indian defence under tremendous pressure.
Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues did his reputation no harm by putting in a sterling performance. Along with Mehtab Hossain he closed down the Cameroon players, forcing them to misplace their passes.
Indian coach Koevermans has termed the victory as an incredible. After the match, he said we had to straighten a few things at the half time and it was an incredible fight by the guys.
(With inputs from IANS)
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