SAFF under-16: India beat Nepal in semis, face Pakistan in final

August 8th, 2011 - 10:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Aug 8 (IANS) India beat Nepal 4-2 on penalties in the semi-final of the under-16 SAFF football championships here Monday to set-up a final clash with Pakistan.

The final will take place Wednesday at the Dashrath Stadium. Pakistan beat Bangladesh 2-0 in the first semi-final.

In the second semi-final, India and Nepal were locked 1-1 after the regulation time.

The home side drew first blood in the 20th minute with Rishi Thapa scoring off a goal mouth melee. Substitute Nitin Jyal restored the parity at the stroke of the final whistle to bring India back into the match.

Against run of play, Nepal took the lead through Thapa. The Indians didn’t crumble under pressure and kept on creating chances.

Daniel could have scored the equaliser in the 22nd minute, but his right footer was just wide of the woodwork.

Vanlalduatsanga, Suman Saha, Myron Mendes and Harmanjot Singh scored for India while Lalrammuana hit the crossbar.

The star of the day was India goalkeeper Supratim Bhattacharya, who not ony pulled off great saves in the regulation time but also saved two penalties on the trot.

“I am extremely happy with their performance. They played their heart out and showed character. Also we missed so many chances, but nevertheless it’s a part and parcel of the game and we hope to continue the same momentum against Pakistan in the finals,” said India coach Thomas Joseph.

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