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2012 NEHRU CUP: India 2-1 Syria

India v Syria

The Indian national team has kicked-off its 2012 Nehru Cup campaign with a 2-1 win against Syria.

Star skipper Sunil Chhetri and substitute Anthony Pereira scored for the Indian team, while Alaa Al Shbli reduced the margin in the dying moments of the match.

Scroll down for stats and a detailed match report…

More details and exclusive updates on the the NEHRU CUP will be available at


at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi



1-0 Sunil Chhetri (45’+2′)
2-0 Anthony Pereira (82′)
2-1 Alaa Al Shbli (90′ +2′)



1-Subrata Pal; 4-Nirmal Chetri, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 3-Raju Eknath Gaikwad, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi; 8-Sanju Pradhan (69′ 14-Anthony Pereira), 6-Lenny Rodrigues, 20-Mehtab Hossain, 15-Clifford Miranda; 26-Francis Fernandes, 11-Sunil Chhetri [C]

Unused Subs
Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Karanjit Singh; Denzil Franco, Gurwinder Singh, Alwyn George, Jewel Raja Sheikh, Manandeep Singh, Robin Singh

25-Taha Mosa; 2-Ahmed Al Salih, 3-Mohamad Zbida, 4-Jehad Al Baour, 8-Mohamad Afa Al Rifal, 9-Mardik Mardikian (64′ 17-Hamoud Al Hamoud), 10-Zaher Midani [C], 11-Oday Jafal, 15-Alaa Al Shbli, 18-Ali Ghalioum, 20-Hani Al Taiar

Unused Subs
1-Mosab Balhous, 22-Mahmoud Al Youssef; 5-Hamzeh Al Aitoni, 6-Khaled Al Brijawi, 7-Abd Al Kader Mjarmesh, 12-Zakaria Al Omari, 27-Yasser Shoshara



Vladislav Tseylin (Uzbekistan)

Assistant Referees

4th Official



Yellow Cards
3′ Clifford Miranda (India)
30′ Mardik Mardikian (Syria)
59′ Jehad Al Baour (Syria)
66′ Subrata Pal (India)
72′ Nirmal Chetri (India)
75′ Oday Jafal (Syria)

Yellow-Red Cards

Red Cards


Rain tried to play spoilsport. But Team India’s indomitable spirit to start their defence of the Nehru Cup with a win got the better of the inclement weather at the Jawaharlal Stadium on Wednesday (August 22). The Wim Koevermans coached outfit won 2-1, a goal each from Captain Sunil Chhetri and substitute Anthony Pereira in the 45th and 82nd minute respectively helping India’s cause.

Alaa Alshbbli pulled back for the visitors in the 89th minute.

Chhetri opened the scoring in the 45th minute when he headed in a Clifford Miranda centre and then Anthony Pereira lobbed it over rival custodian Ahmed Alsalih who was out of position.

Barely 10 minutes earlier, Chhetri had led the team back to the dressing room in the 34th minute — play was interrupted due to torrential downpour. But the 15 minutes of torrential downpour wasn’t enough to derail India.

The effort was visible from the first whistle. The players were trying their best to display the new style with the one twos. And they were perfect. Unnecessary long balls were not to be seen. Rather, inch perfect crosses excited all – after all on display was a new Indian football side.

Let’s take for example Sanju Pradhan’s cross from the right flank in the 20th minute. The No.8 India winger drilled a lovely cross for Francis Fernandez to expertly tap it down. Chhetri just could not connect properly.

Central midfielder Lenny Rodriguez was gelling well with Francis who was deployed just behind Chhetri in a 4-4-1-1 system. The back four was looking like a well oiled machine, closing down efficiently inside the box.

Further back, Subrata Pal looked more than convincing when his turn came. He palmed away a well placed header from his counterpart with minimal fuss. India were more calculated in the second half. They didn’t take unnecessary risks at but the same time looked to split open the rival defence. The ploy paid dividends as Pereira settled the issue in the 82nd minute.

Alshbbli pulled back for Syria but it came a bit too late.

Sunil Chhetri was declared the Man of the Match.

India next play Maldives on August 25.

(AIFF Match Report)

More details and exclusive updates on the the NEHRU CUP will be available at