August 25, 2012; Kick-Off- 7PM IST

Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi


Click here to read the match preview.

Stay tuned for the team news update.


India : Subrata Paul , Raju Gaekwad , Gouramangi Singh , Syed Rahim Nabi , Nirmal Chhetri , Mehtabh Hossain , Lenny Rodrigues , Clifford Miranda , Sanju Pradhan , Francis Fernandes , Sunil Chhetri

Maldives : Mohaamed Imran , Ahmed Abdulla , M ohammed Shifan , Mohammed Umair , Aohammed Arif , Ali Ashfaq, Rilwan Waheed , Ashad Ali , Abdulla Asadhulla , Shafiu Ahmed , Mohamed Rasheed

So an unchanged Team is named by Coach Wim Koevermans in India’a game 2 of the Nehru Cup. Its time for the kick off at the JN Stadia in Delhi. Can India get better of the island Nation of Maldives ? keep following the updates , right here on The Hard Tackle !

0′ : India begin in an all blue outfit from left to right. Fortunately the rain has stopped for a while in the capital. 

2′ : Weak back pass by Syed Nabi in the box but a vigilant Subrata Paul clears as Maldives begin in a 3-5-2 attacking formation. Mehtab Hossain’s role is critical tonight.  

4′ : First touch by skipper Sunil Chhetri and the crowd can be heard straight away . India for a look out for Chhetri as in the other game. Good tactic that ? Time will tell. 

6′ : Gouramangi Singh versus Ali Ashfaq in going to be an important mini battle on the right wing for India. Meanwhile Sanju Pradhan surges ahead on the righ flank and crosses one in as he looks up but that was lacking height and cleared for a corner by the Maldive defense. 

8′ : Corner at the other end for Malidives but Subrata gathers the ball with confidence.

10′ : Chance here for Sunil Chhetri but Long haired Mohammed Arif comes to the rescue.

12′ : Excellent sliding tackle by Raju Gaekwad . Had to be inch perfect there or else a foul and a possible card would have been an easy call for the Ref.

14′ : India playing a more composed game. Mehtab Hossain completely missed that pass and now Maldives counter attack with a wanting ball upfront as Subrata comes out of the box to clear.

16′ : Short passing game and dominating possession but no penetration . Thats the story so far for India !

18′ : Nirmal Chhetri now to Sunil Chhteri who gives it back to Syed Rahim Nabi who runs and gets past 1 defender now cuts the second and crosses one in but thats cleared. Good build up play this.

20′ : Threat for India on the left as Abdulla Asadhulla gets past Raju and Syed and curls that towards Ali Ashfaq .

22′ : Sanju Pradhan on the right wing has been highly active tonight with back to back overlapping runs. Similarly Clifford Miranda on the left wing doing his duties but balls that have been put into the box are hopefuls to say the least.

24′ : Sunil Chhetri has to do a lot of running back into his own half to get some ball possession. That’s not a good sign !

26′ : One good thing India can be seen doing , is closing down on opposition players. Maldives trying to get 4-5 passes together but are not successful as Indian midfielders close down the space too

28′ : Fourth corner for Maldives but its cleared. India has had two . 

30′ :  India  0  –  0  Maldives

32′ : Reflex action save by Subrata. Delightful run by Abdulla. Indian defense was found wanting there. Raju , Syed and Gouramangi all went down chasing Abdulla as he cuts that one back for Ashfaq. Phew. That was a lucky escape.

34′ : Sanju Pradhan to Sunil who passes it on to Francisco Fernandes who heads goal wards but lacked power.

36′ : Attacking midfielder Mohammed Umair caught offside but the Indian defensive line was not in shape. Have to be careful with offside traps.

38′ : Changing directions , giving back passes , switching flanks. Wow . That’s nice by India. More of this please !

40′ : Very fine diagonal ball by Nirmal Chhetri. Spotted Syed Rahim Nabi on the overlap and that was a penetrative move. Nabi did his bit by controlling the ball on the chest but the ball just rolled a bit wide and the keeper made no mistakes collecting

42′ : Lenny Rodrigues and Mehtab Hossain have been doing all the running for Team India here. Good play by the midfielders might go unnoticed as its mostly off the ball runs.

44′ : Wow and thats a penalty for India. A Syed Rahim Nabi cross hit the Maldive defender in D on his hand. Was it intentional ? Does not matter. The Ref points to the spot. SUnil Chhetrri to take the spot kick.

45′ + 1 : GOAL ! And he scores. Goal no.36 for Sunil Chhetri and India take the lead here at the JN Stadia.

India  1  –  0  Maldives


Here we go , second half to begin. After a deja vu first half , can India yet again soak in all the pressure and keep a clean sheet. Testing times these but such scenarios should be helpful and an handy experience to a young Indian squad. Talking about help , the sparse Delhi crowd are doing there bit , cheering out loud , standing  tall and making themselves counted. What about you ? do follow the live update here on The Hard Tackles and spread the word !

45′ : Substitution for India . IN – Robin Singh , OUT – Sanju Pradhan

46′ : So a  debut for Robin Singh . Nice move by the coach. It ll be interesting to see what impact his inclusion will make.

48′ : Nice return pass to Syed Nabi. Excellent 1-2 passing by India. Sunil Chettri received the ball as India using the width of the pitch to its fullest. That’s better. That’s something new too !

50′ : Robin Singh posing problems to the Maldives defense with an beautiful on the ground pass which went across the defenders into the six yard box just wide of the goal keeper.

52′ : Oh that was close. Should have been a goal by Maldives as Ashfaq went past Gouramangi and cut that one back straight into an onrushing Abdulla who misses. or did he slip ?

54′ : GOOOOAAAAAL. Corner for India out of nowhere. CLifford pitches it in inch perfect oin the wide post and with no Maldive player gurading the post Syed Rahim Nabi jumped and headed in an fantastic goal.

India  2  –  0  Maldives

56′ :  Good run by Lenny Rodriguess . Moves up into the box but is blocked. Now its Sunil to Robin and back to Sunil. Thats faboulous work by India. Back to back build ups into the box. 

58′ : India has played their best football of the tournament in the last 10 minutes. We love to see this. Hard tackles and good build up play. That’s football for you!

60′ : India 2  –  0  Maldives  |  Sub for Maldives IN – Rasheed Ahmed , OUT – Ashad Ali |

62′ : India has to make sure they continue this play . Critical period this. Maldives can come back. India has to up thier ante now. These are signs of a good team. Meanwhile back to back corners for India now.

64′ : Lovely diagonal through ball by Lenny and a good cross in but just wide of Robin Singh.

66′ : Clifford Miranda has been the man of the moment for India. Fantastic work rate and technique by the Goan. 

68′ : A move fro the right by India and Robin Singh into the right area could have scored or at least has an attempt had he continued and timed that well. Chance for Maldives at the other end but Mohammed Umair hits it wide.

70′ : Woooah What a GOOOAAAL. ! Sunil Chhetri. That was a fantastic header and fantatsic positioning and a fantastic cross from Francis Fernandes. Fantastic Football India !

India  3  –  0  Maldives

72′ : OOHHHH . Hits the post. Sunil Chhetri hit the post. One on one with the keeper as Sunil takes the ball wide while the keeper goes down. Cliffor Miranda super through ball. 

74′ : SUB Maldives IN – Ahmed , OUT – Abdulla Asadhulla

76′ :  Pressure put on by Maldives now.Purple patch for Maldives with back to back shots on target.

78′ : SUB India IN – Anthony Pereira , OUT – Clifford Miranda

80′ : So a 4-4-1-1 formation start had dynamically changed to a 3-5-2  during the attacks and has now changed to a more composed 4-3-3.

82′ : Mehtabh Hossain winning the ball for India passes it to Nabi who gets it back to Lenny now Anthony highly promising play this.

84′ : Maldives SUB IN -Ismail Easa , OUT – Ashad Ali

86′ : Anthony Periera with a first time pass to Robin Singh into the box who shoots but is well shielded by Mohamed Shifan

88′ : Apart from Sunil Chhetri, who deserves to slow down, everyone is looking up on their fitness levels. Thats another positive as we move into the last few minutes here in New Delhi. Nirmal Chhetri goes down in pain. Being stretched off. Probably looks like his knee as he rolled over the ball during that tackle.

90′ : Sub India IN – Denzil Franco , OUT –  Nirmal Chhetri

90′ + 2′ : India should hold on here for a clean sheet. They deserve a three nil scoreline.  India has moved back into their own half as Maldives move the ball around.

90′ + 4′ : Maldives take a quick free kick. Arif with a chance but shoots wide  Indian defense has to gone to sleep.

90′ + 5′ : Final whistle. Thats it. India win Game No. 2 in style. 

FULL TIME :  India  3  –  0  Maldives