MALDIVES 1-1 INDIA
0-1 Sunil Chhetri (18′; Assist: Steven Dias)
1-1 Mukhkthar Naseer (45′; Assist: Ibrahim Fazeel)
India lost an early lead and eventually settled for a 1-1 draw against Maldives in an International Friendly at the National Stadium in Male. While Sunil Chhetri scored for India in the 18th minute, Mukhtar Nasir restored parity for Maldives in the 44th minute.
“It was a tough match,” India’s coach Armando Colaco said. “We did create our chances and I’m happy with the performance of the boys,” he added.
“The World Cup Qualifier against UAE stays our priority. There’s always a bit of experimentation in Friendlies and we tried to make most use of it.”
India went into the lead in the 18th minute when Captain Sunil Chhetri headed in Steven Dias’ corner to silence the packed house at the National Stadium.
Thereafter, India took over the reins as the midfield fed Jeje and Sunil upfront without fail. Frustrated, there were a number of mispasses from the rival medios which further helped India’s cause.
India were unlucky to surge into a two-nil lead as Jeje’s shot hit the pass after he was set in the clear by Sunil in the 43rd minute.
But India couldn’t hold onto the lead till the interval as Mukhtar Nasir equalised for Maldives in the 44th minute. Mukhtar intercepted a through pass and curled it over Subrata Pal to leave it 1-1 at the interval.
Changing over, Jeje had another chance in the 60th minute but his placement missed the target by inches. He also had another opportunity in the 86th minute but shot wide from near.
India next play Qatar in another International Friendly at the Al Sadd Stadium on July 17. India then move on to challenge UAE in the first-leg of the World Cup Qualifier in Abu Dhabi. The return leg is slated for July 28 at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.
(AIFF Press Release)
Subrata Pal; Sameer Naik, Gourmangi Moirangthem Singh, Raju Eknath Gaikwad, Debabrata Roy; Steven Benedic Dias, Climax Lawrence, Mehtab Hossain, Syed Rahim Nabi; Jeje Lalpeklua, Sunil Chhetri [C]
Ahmed Ameez, Ibrahim Thaufeeq
Abdul Hameed Abdul Gafoor
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