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Sunil Chhetri double saves India U-23 against FK Baník Most

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri

Picture courtesy: FC Viktoria Plzeň / LNFoto

The India U-23 national team faced Czech 2nd Division side FK Baník Most in a friendly match at the TJ Baník Souš Stadium on Thursday evening.

India coach Wim Koevermans started with with two changes to the starting line-up after the team went down 0-1 to SK Senco Doubravka in their first game at Czech soil on Sunday. Pronoy Halder and Lalrindika Ralte were thetwo new faces in the Indian midfield for the match today.

FK Baník Most had the first chances in the game, but they were denied by India U-23 keeper Amrinder Singh. India’s first chance occured in the 40th minute, when captain Sunil Chhetri set-up Mandar Rao Desai who faced the FK Baník Most keeper in an one-on-one. But Mandar failed to get past the keeper and to give India the lead.

The game was locked goalless at half-time, but star skipper Sunil Chhetri opened the score sheet for the Indian team just two minutes into the second half.

The celebrations for the Indian team didn’t last for too long as the Czech side pulled one back just moments later.

Chhetri and Robin Singh missed a few chances for India to take the lead once again. It was the Czech side to score the next goal as their skipper Conka hit the goal.

India had its difficulties after the goal for FK Baník Most, but Sunil Chhetri saved the Indian team minutes before the full time whistle.

The Indian U-23 national team will face TJ Jiskra Domažlice in their last match in the Czech Republic before they return to India for the two match Friendly Series against the Pakistan U-23 national tTeam in Bangalore on August 17 and 20 respectively.

Friendly Match
at TJ Baník Souš Stadium, Most, Czech Republic


0-1 Sunil Chhetri (47′)
1-1 Smok (49′)
2-1 Conka (63′)
2-2 Sunil Chhetri (88′)


FK Baník Most
Sila; Pavlica, Bohata, Chocholousek, Sudek, Conka, Cerny, Djibyba, De Santos, Kubanek, Redric

Unused Subs

India U-23
Amrinder Singh; Pritam Kotal, Joyner Lourenco, Sandesh Jhingan (58′ Shankar Sampingiraj), Narayan Das; Pronoy Halder, Lalrindika Ralte, Francis Fernandes, Mandar Rao Desai; Sunil Chhetri [C], Robin Singh

Unused Subs
Ravi Kumar, Kamaljit Singh, Keenan Almeida, Salam Singh, Rowlin Borges, Clifton Dias, Alwyn George, Siam Hangal, Dhanpal Ganesh, Milan Singh, Alesh Sawant, Seiminlen Doungel, Haokip Thongkoshim



Assistant Referees
…, …


Yellow Cards

Yellow-Red Cards

Red Cards

AIFF Match Report
A defiant India rode on Captain Sunil Chhetri’s second half brace to draw level in a rip roaring practice match against FK Banik Most in Most, Czech Republic on Thursday (July 31, 2014).

After a barren first half, India surged ahead almost immediately after the restart with Sunil dribbling past two defenders before rounding off goalkeeper Sila to score. But the hosts leveled two minutes later with their super sub Smok making the most of some shambolic defending at the back.

FK Most took the lead through their captain Conka but some late drama and a spirited fightback by India where they missed some six clear cut chances saw Sunil pulling one back after some great play in the middle and a slick dummy by No 9 Robin Singh.

The India U-23 Team presently preparing for the forthcoming Incheon Asian Games are on an exposure Tour to Czech Republic.

The men in blue play third division team TJ Domazlice on Sunday (August 3, 2014).

The match started at a good pace with both the teams playing attacking football. It was as early as the third minute when the hosts won a corner which was in the end harmless sailing across the face of goal.

India looked to profit from some good combination play in the middle of the park with newly paired Lalrindika Ralte and Pronay Halder gelling well and Captain Sunil coming down to help work out some good moves.

The match was a seesaw battle as the hosts first tried to get the game by the scruff of the collar with a flurry of attacks but Amrinder was a rock under the bar pulling off a string of wonderful saves.

As the clock neared halftime the affair shifted balance as the visitors pressed the accelerator. The best chance of the half fell to Mandar who after being put through beautifully by Sunil dragged his effort wide from a one on one situation.

It was India who looked the more threatening to take the lead as the half closed with Francis Fernandes and Robin Singh combing menacingly well down the left channel. Robin even had a half chance which he couldn’t make the best of. In the middle, Lalrindika was pulling the strings to perfection.

The second half started at a brisk pace like the first with the only exception of goals. Sunil scored within two minutes of the restart dribbling past two defenders and rounding off the keeper to drill home a fine solo effort.

But joy for the men in blue was very shortlived as the hosts pegged one back two minutes later with their substitute No 10 striker making the most of some porous defending by the hosts.

Spurred by the immediate response the Czech team pushed for another and were rewarded three minutes into the hour mark. Captain Conka made amends for his rashness in the first half with a neat finish from close.

But India refused to give up. Sunil, Lalrindika missed good chances as the hosts sat back and protected their lead.

With the match in the dying minutes, their resolute was finally breached as Sunil scored his second. A wonderful move down the middle resulted in Robin dummying expertly for the India captain who prodded home with relative ease from six yards.