August 22, 2012; Kick-Off- 7PM IST
Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Click here to read match preview.
Team News , Starting Line Ups
India : Subrata Paul , Raju Gaekwad , Nirmal Chhetri , Lanny Rodrigues , Sanju Pradhan , Sunil Chhetri , Clifford Miranda , Gouramangi Singh , Mehtabh Hossain , Syed Nabi , Francesco Fernandes
Syria : Taha Mosa , Ahmed Al Salih , Mohammed Zbida , Jehad Al Baour , Mohammed Rifal , Madrik Mardikian , Zaheer Midani , Oday Jafal , Alaa Al Shbli , Ali Ghalioum , Hani Al Talar
Having lost last 5 games in 2012 , the Indian Football Team is set to embark a fresh life under a new coach as they begin to defend the Nehru Cup campaign . Stay tuned for live updates on TheHardTackle !
0′ : Kick Off. India begin in thier traditional all blue colours from left to right whereas Syria are in an all red outfit . Stadium is pretty empty for starts !
2′ : Good start by India , Sanju Pradhan on the right for India , neat control.
3′ : Slow patient possession football displayed by India . Lenny Rodrgues in central midfield role gets a start under the new Dutch coach.
5′ : Lot of sliding and pushing in this slow paced start. The ground has been heavily watered by rains but it looks green and in good condition with excellent drainage system.
7′ : Syrian defense of Ahmed Al Salih and Jehad Al Baour have distinct height advantage. India should forget long balls into the D area .
9′ : First corner of the evening goes to Syria but headed away by Raju Gaekwad.
11′ : First attempt on Goal by India via Sunil Chhetri who controls , turns and shoots first time but is a bit wide. Had good pace to the shot though
12′ : Couple of half attacks by Syria and a wide attempt follows which does not trouble Subrata Paul
15′ : Francis Fernandes to Clifford Miranda now back to Lenny Rodrigues. India’s left wing has been controlled well by the Goans.
17′ : The stadium though looking empty has a vocal local support. Its a massive 60k+ bucket seats capacity arena. New and a Great Home for Indian Football !
19′ : Wonderful and confident defending by Gouramangi. Neither Goal keeper has been tested so far. Both team cautiously pressing each other down.
21′ : Sanju Pradhan with a bad cross there from the right wing. Mehtabh Hosain with a bad tackle on the Syrian. Bit scrappy here by India. Need to calm down.
23′ : Francis to Clifford who runs into the box from the right flank but fails to control. Now Syria with an attack from the right wing with a looping ball into the box cleared by Nabi. Corner for Syria
25′ : Raju Gaekwad coming way ahead and committing as Wim Kovermans watches closely
27′ : Another mistake by Raju , this could be critical as the ball goes into the D area with the Syrian striker as Subrata Paul comes out and Raju tackles as Zaher shoots but the ball goes wide!. Phew ! That was a lucky escape. India has to be carefull !
29′ : Its raining heavily here and again Raju Gaekwwad found wanting as Hani Al Talar crosses one it for Mardik shoots but its just wide.
30′ : India 0 – 0 Syria
32′ : Syrian Mardik Mardikian gets a yellow for a dive . The pitch has become really heavy now with this downpour.
34′ : PLAY HAS STOPPED DUE TO HEAVY RAINFALL!
35′ : We are back into action now after a gap of 15 minutes !
36′ : And straight away Syria attack. Indian defense struggling big time. Raju and Gouramangi making dreadful mistakes. The pitch condition is not ideal though.
38′ : Excellent save by Subrata. Prompt right footer by Ali Ghailoum. Clever play by the Syrians.
40′ : Another diving save by Subrata and Syria gets a corner. Good on the line clearance by Clifford Miranda.
42′ : Hani Al Talaar , Mardik Mardikian and Ali Ghalioum displaying good control in wet conditions and giving a torrid time to a new look Indian back four.
44′ : Nice shot from distance by Sunil Chhetri which forces the Syrian Goalkeeper to bend and dive to stop the on goal shot.
45′+1′ : GOOOAAAAL for India! Against the run of play. What a fantastic cross by Clifford Miranda and a cool header finish by Sunil Chhetri
India 1 – 0 Syria
Second half about to begin now. India must play possession football and nowt just defend a one goal cushion. Stay tuned for live updates !
46′ : Syria SUB IN – Zakaria Al Omari , OUT – Mohammed Rifal
49′ : Nirmal Chhetri and Raju Gaekwad have to be careful and stay focused in this tricky conditions.
51′ : Both teams cancelling each other out in the midfield and finding it difficult to string in a couple of passes together. Much like the first half Syria seems to be in a more attacking mind frame.
53′ : Clifford Miranda trying to find Sunil . Good defense by Raju as he anticipates the move. Miranda now again in action with a sliding tackle. Needs to be cautious as he is on a yellow.
55′ : Ball hovering around in India’s half. Couple of good crosses in by Syrian midfielders but have been dealt with good clearances by the Indian defense.
57′ : Yellow card to Jehad Al Baour for an unnecessary tackle on Sunil
60′ : India 1 – 0 Syria
62′ : Wow , that was fabulous by Sunil Chhetri. A neat and cheeky pass to Lenny who had made a run into the Syrian box.
64′ : Syria is struggling with a final third passing. As the Gulf Team make another substitution with Hamoud Al Hamoud coming in.
66′ : Good build up movements by India here but are losing out the ball cheaply. Ground conditions ? maybe.
68′ : Yellow card to Subrata Paul for time wasting !
70′ : Indian Sub IN – Anthony Periera , OUT – Sanju Pradhan
73′ : Sloppy play by Lenny Rodrigues , Syed Rahim Nabi. Childish play by Nirmal Chhetri whereas Sunil Chhetri jumps high way above the tall Syrian defenders to get his header on target. Difference cause of playing abroad ?
75′ : Better possession stats for India in the second half. But has it counted for any better moves and build up play. Unfortunately NO.
77′ : Oday Jafal gets a yellow card for obstructing Raju Gaekwad as Wim Kovermans tucks his shirt in for a nervous last fifteen minutes.
80′ : Not much of an action apart from an odd ball into the box by Syria which has been well dealt must say by Nirmal , Raju and Gouramangi.
82′ : Anthony Periera who replaced now retired Steven Dias for India, is playing deep into a defensive midfield role instead of moving up the wings. Signs of soaking in the pressure.
83′ : GOOAAL NO 2 for India. And guess who scored ? Its Anthony Periera ! Anthony has justified his inclusion as he moved up and utilized a Lenny Rodrigues pass to chip past the Syrian keeper.
India 2 – 0 Syria
85′ : Syria look desperate now and move up in numbers but India has now switched to a 4-1-4-1 defensive formation with Sunil upfront.
87′ : First corner of the match for India but that’s wasted big time !
89′ : GOAL. Syria get one back through a fantastic free kick and clinical header finish by Alaa al Shbli
India 2 – 1 Syria
90′+1′ : Dramatic finish here on cards. Can India hold on ? three minutes of added time !
90′+3′ : That’s it. That’s the final whistle ! India wins the opener in Nehru Cup 2012.
FULL TIME : India 2 - 1 Syria