THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

India ready to take on Nepal

Wim Koevermans and Team India

The Indian national team is ready to take on Nepal in a 2012 Nehru Cup match on Tuesday. Wim Koevermans’ boys are hoping to secure a third consecutive win and to take another step forward to defend the Nehru Cup title.

The performances against Syria (2-1 | VIDEO) and Maldives (3-0 | VIDEO) might have created some hype amongst fans and media, but the Indian camp stays calm and cool while knowing that the journey under new coach Wim Koevermans has just started.

“No, we are not yet in the final,” India coach Wim Koevermans told after the Maldives match. True. But a win against neighbouring Nepal would secure the Indian team a berth in the final and keep the hopes alive to win the title for a third consecutive time.

“There’s no point in thinking about future matches. We face Nepal in the next match and a win will take us to the final,” experienced Syed Rahim Nabi told AIFF Media. “It’s perhaps, the most important match for us!”

India skipper Sunil Chhetri has been on fire in the first two matches and the expectatios are high that the striker will be once again on the scoresheet. “I just give my best. That’s my duty and I just can’t shy away from it,” the Sporting Clube de Portugal star said.

India’s opponent Nepal is fully aware of the new look India side and their coach Krishna Thapa has lauded Wim Koevermans’ team.

“This Indian side is a stronger one that played in the AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu earlier this year. There are many young players in the side and they are physically strong. The players look to be sharper. Upfront, Sunil Chhetri also looks more aggressive,” Thapa told.

“The level of their performance is going up with every match. Against Maldives, India were too good. But that doesn’t mean Nepal can’t beat India. In fact, both the teams are of the same standard,” the coach added.

The Indian team is prepared to take on Nepal, but they are not underestimating the tiny neighbours. Sunil and his boys are on a mission and the journey has just started.

So let’s keep our fingers crossed and hopefully we will be cheering once again after the match on Tuesday.