06.06.2017: INDIA 2-0 NEPAL (FT..)
IND :Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (C) (GK); Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan (81’ – Arnab Mondal), Narayan Das (64’ – Jerry Lalrinzuala (Debut for India)); Jackichand Singh (45’ – Bikash Jairu), Rowllin Borges (27’ – Eugeneson Lyngdoh), Mohammed Rafique, Holicharan Narzary (63’ – Seityasen Singh), Robin Singh (45’ – Daniel Lalhimpuia), Jeje Lalkpekhlua.

NEP : Kiran, Biraj, Kamal, Adaitya, Ananta, Anjan, Sujal, Rohit, Bimal, N. Shesthra, Hemen Referee: Pranjal Banerjee
FULL TIME India beat Nepal 2-0
90'+3':Another corner to India.
90'+1':Brilliant chance to Daniel, but his shot went wide.
90':4 minutes of added time.
89':Bikash's corner, cleared in defence.
88':Chance to Daniel from Eugeneson's pass, but he failed to trap it properly and defence cleared. Corner to India.
86':Jeje with another fine shot, good save by keeper.
81':Players Change in India Arnab Mondal in place of Sandesh.
80':Nepal's corner, straight to Gurpreet's hand.
79':Nepal's corner as Gurpreet's fist sent it out.
78':GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Brilliant run of Rafique and a fine cross, Jeje scored for India.
75':Nepal's move, Sandesh cleared it. Corner to Nepal.
74':Bikash's cross, fine save by keeper.
70':Bikash's corner, cleared in defence.
70':Daniel's pass to Seityasen, his pass blocked. Corner to India.
69':Eugeneson's free kick, deflected by human wall .
67':RED CARD to Nepal skipper Biraj for his tackle to Bikash. Free kick to India just outside the box.
65':Wasted free kick of Nepal, went wide.
64':Yellow Card to Sandesh for his bad tackle.
63':Another move of India, but cross went over the bar.
63':Players Change in India: Seityasen in place of Holicharan.
62':Jeje's shot, not connected properly, easy for keeper.
59':GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL Sandesh scored for India. Jeje's pass to Sandesh and his fine left footed shot finds the net.
58':Daniel's pass, Rohit committed hand ball. Free kick to India.
57': Ball cleared from corner.
56':BIkash with another fine counter attack, fine clearance by keeper. Corner.
55':Eugeneson's corner. Jeje's header to find Anas, his header cleared , return chance to Holicharan, his shot went wide.
54':Corner to India.
52':Nepal's corner cleared and a counter attack of India. Aditya cleared it.
52':Gurpreet's fine save from a long ranger, corner to Nepal.
50':Jeje's long ranger, but not a powerful one, easy for the keeper to save it.
48':Gurpreet's long pass, Bikash's cross but Rafique slips in box.
46':Second half resumed.
45':Players Change in India Daniel in place of Robin Singh, Bikash Jairu in place of Jackichand Singh
HALF TIME Score remains goalless between India and Nepal.
45'+1':Anjan Bista missed an open net.
45':2 minutes of added time.
38':Short corner and a cross, cleared in defence
37':Jeje's corner, cleared another corner.
37':Corner to India. 3rd Corner.
33':Pritam's cross from right flank, Robin's header went wide.
31':Fine one touch between Jeje, Eugeneson, but Eugeneson's shot blocked, return header of Rafique, straight to keeper's hand.
29':Lyngdoh's pass to Robin, robin's right footed shot, went wide.
29':Players Change in India: Eugeneson Lyngdoh in place of injured Rowllin Borges.
18': Gurpreet saved a close shot of Nepal .
15':Corner for India from an attack of Jeje. No score in corner kick.
14': Poor paas of Holi to Robin, cleared.
10': INDIA 0-0 NEPAL
8': Robin got a ball but released an weak shot.
4': Throw in for India.
3': Long shot of Gurpreet.
1': Attack of India, Robin Singh to Holicharan but missed to head.
1': Match starts.

Last meeting between the two teams held on december 2015 in SAFF Championship where India won 4-1. the goal scorers of India were Rowllin Borges, Sunil Chhetri L. Chhangte - 2. Today Indian Captain Sunil Chhetri and Striker CK Vineeth may not play. It will be a crucial match for both India and Nepal teams as both are playing in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying matches. It will be a dress rehearsal for India as they face Kyrgyzstan on June 13 in 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying.

Indian coach Stephen Constantine told in the press meet that "Being 100 does not mean we are favourites or that we have become a super team. Two years back we were 173 and I had then stated that the target it to get into the top 100. Everyone had laughed it off. Being at 100, the next logical target will be to get into the top 50"

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : The Indian National Team continued their purple patch under Head Coach Stephen Constantine and registered their seventh consecutive win (including the unofficial match against Bhutan) after India defeated Nepal 2-0 in an International Friendly today (June 06, 2017) at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai.

Sandesh Jhingan ‘s 60th minute strike and Jeje Lalpekhlua’s 78th minute goal proved to be the difference between the two sides in a tightly contested match where Nepal were reduced to ten men after the visitor’s captain Biraj Maharjan was sent off in the 68th minute.

India started the game brightly as Robin Singh upfront tussled for balls played from the midfield, releasing Halicharan Narzary once from the wings through a header and almost releasing Jeje onto goal in the opening minutes. In the 5th minute itself, Robin Singh had the chance to give India the lead but before the robust forward could release his shot, the Nepalese defence robbed him off possession.

In the 16th minute, the Nepalese custodian caught Mohammed Rafique’s cross but Sandesh Jhingan’s momentum to head the ball resulted in the ball, the custodian, and Jhingan himself ending up in the back of the net. The referee called it foul play on Jhingan’s part.

Composed and pressing as a unit, whilst counter-attacking in numbers, the Indian midfield held off Nepal for much of the opening minutes. Indian custodian and skipper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made his first save in the 18th minute, picking up an easy shot.

Jackichand Singh’s speed on the wings proved hefty to deal with for Nepal and in the 23rd minute, his cross was met by a Robin Singh header that went inches past the goal as India pressed to take the lead.

Robin Singh was once again involved in play upfront and in the 28th minute his shot from a tight angle failed to find the net and in the 33rd minute Robin’s header flew over the bar.

Nepal almost turned the ball into their own net in the 38th minute when Jeje’s flick on the near post was met with a header from the Nepalese defence line, but thankfully, for the visitors the ball went over the bar. Nepal almost scored in the dying embers of the first half but Shreshta failed to drive the ball home into an empty Indian net. The half-time scoreline read 0-0

India sprung into life in the second half and in the 56th minute, substitute Bikash Jairu’s shot from inside the box came close to taking the lead for India, had Nepal’s custodian not denied his effort. However, four minutes later, Sandesh Jhingan’s half volley ended in the back of the Nepalese net after a corner kick scenario as India took a solitary goal lead.

A red card to skipper Biraj Maharjan in the 68th minute added to Nepal’s woes after his uncanny challenge on Bikash Jairu prompted the referee to give him marching orders. Nepal sat deep and defended for much of the match, soaking pressure of Indian attacks.

Jeje slotted home in the 78th minute after latching on to a perfect Rafique cross from the wings to double India’s lead and give Constantine’s men some breathing space. The full-time scoreline read 2-0 as India gained morale with a comfortable win going into the clash against Kyrgyz Republic on June 13, 2017 in Bengaluru.


22.03.2017: INDIA 3-2 CAMBODIA ( FT)
IND : Sunil 36, Jeje 50, Sandesh 53'
CAM : Labrevy 37, Vathanaka 62'

IND : Gurpreet, Pritam, Arnab(Sandesh – 46th), Anas, Fulganco, Vineeth (Jackichand – 35th), Rowllin (Milan – 89th), E. Lyngdoh (Md. Rafique – 63rd), Sunil, Robin (Udanta – 74th), Daniel (Jeje – 46th).

62': GOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL 3-2 to India, Vathanaka scored.
53': GOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL 3-1 to India, Sandesh Jingham scored from header
50': GOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL 2-1 to India, Jeje scored from a pass of Jackichand Singh.
36': GOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL 1-1 to India, Sunil scored from a corner kick of Lyndoh.
37': GOOOAAALLLLLLLLLLL 1-0 to Cambodia, Labrevy scored .

AIFF PRESS RELEASE : India broke the jinx of not having won an away International Friendly since June 2005 when they beat Cambodia 3-2 in an International Friendly at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium on Wednesday (March 22, 2017). Both the teams were locked 1-1 at half-time.

A spell of three minutes immediately after the interval settled the issue for Stephen Constantine’s boys, a match which witnessed two International debuts for India – Anas Edathodika and Milan Singh becoming the 512 and 513th player to represent India respectively.

The two substitutions at the interval - Sandesh Jhingan and Jeje Lalpekhlua coming in for Arnab Mondal and Daniel Lalhlimpuia respectively, did the trick for India. The duo made an instant impact, scoring the next two goals, and despite Cambodia desperately throwing men in attack during the later stage, India had sealed it by then.

Changing over, India made an instant impact as a one-two between Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lelpekhlua found the former in the clear, but his rasping left-footer was fisted back by the rival Goalkeeper. The very next minute, India earned a corner – Jeje’s shot being deflected over. The corner, however, went abegging.

Momentum gained, India went for the kill and the three-minute storm started thereafter. Jackichand Singh, running down the middle essayed it for Jeje, who evaded the rival defence and tapped it into the net to silence the 70,000 strong crowd. Three minutes later, India scored their third goal – a deft flick from Jeje off a Eugeneson Lyngdoh corner was headed in mercilessly by Jhingan.

Earlier, in the first half, which was dominated mostly by the home team, India surged into the lead in the 35th minute. The rival Goalkeeper made a mess while leaping to gather a routine corner from Eugenson Lyngdoh and as the ball slipped in between his palms, Sunil Chhetri lurking around, gleefully tapped it in. The lead, however, lasted barely a minute as the hosts pulled it back – striker Laboravy making use of the vacant space between the two central defenders.

The victory did come as a welcome relief for India who were playing their first match after mauling Puerto Rico in September 2016. But as the side gear up for the crucial match in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifier against Myanmar, Constantine will have to plug in a few areas in the next few days.


MATCH PREVIEW :: AIFF PRESS RELEASE : As one gears up for India’s International Friendly against Cambodia in Phnom Penh, you cannot keep your eyes off the history book. A trip down the memory lane, quite blatantly points out that India last won an away International Friendly way back in June 2005 – a solitary goal victory against Pakistan, a side which was Captained by present Team Manager Shanmugam Venkatesh.

For the normal fan, there’s no escaping the harsh reality, it stays natural. But the turf at Phnom Penh, National Coach Stephen Constantine informs “is an artificial one” It certainly is a concern but doesn’t trouble the Coach much.

“We will be playing on an artificial turf. We would have preferred to play on grass. But we need to adjust. It is a very important match for us ahead of the crucial match against Myanmar in the AFC Cup Qualifiers. I thank AIFF for arranging the same,” he said. “There are 4-5 players who are carrying slight niggles so I haven’t yet decided on the starting XI. Let me see what suits us best,” the Coach stated. “The weather conditions in Phnom Penh are quite similar to that in Yangon and it will be a good test for us.”

For the record, Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu will be leading the side on Wednesday (March 22, 2017), his second consecutive match as the National Team Captain, after India’s 4-1 mauling of Puerto Rico in last September. The squad of 24 headed to Phnom Penh after training in Mumbai and though the boys started assembling from March 13th onwards, it was not before March 15th that the entire squad assembled for those “rigorous training sessions.”

“You need International games to develop as a Team and the AIFF has confirmed International friendlies until October which is very positive. The more you play the more Team chemistry you develop and the more the Players gel,” Constantine maintained. Gurpreet who was present at the pre-match Press Conference said: "The facilities here are good. We are practicing hard and hope to end on a positive note."

“There is a very healthy competition to get into the starting XI. It is a huge honour to get selected for India and the Players understand that. The philosophy in the team stays that there are no guarantees for anyone and you need to work hard to stay in the squad and work harder to get into the Starting XI.” The harsh reality of history hits you hard on your face. Can India rescript it? The kick-off on March 22 (Wednesday) is at IST 5pm.