In what was supposed to be a cakewalk for the Indian team, Nepal cleared stepped up their level of play and looked the better of two teams here at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. While the Indians had started the tournament with back-to-back victories against Syria and Maldives, Nepal were coming off defeats against Maldives and Cameroon.
It was raining heavily and hence the kick off was delayed by 30 minutes. It sure didn't deter the Gorkhalis as India wasn't able to recreate the play that they had shown in the previous matches.
Nepal were the more attacking of the two sides in the first half.
Indian coach-Wim Koevermans changed from 4-4-1-1 to a more classic 4-4-2 formation bringing on striker Robin Singh for winger Clifford Miranda at the onset of the second half.
That definitely showed effect as India looked the better of the two sides, but they could not really convert the chances in to a goal.
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In the 53rd minute, Sunil Chhetri, who now plays at Sporting Lisbon put one pass through to Mehtab Hussain but he let it fly over the bar.
The match then entered in to a phase of rough and sluggish play as both teams filed to control the ball.
In the 81st minute though, India were presented with the best opportunity of the game- substitute Jewel Raja broke lose from the right, but his shot just about missed the goal. The following corner also created a stir in the Nepal D, but their goal keeper Kiran Chemjong sved a Robin Singh shot.
Towards the end Nepal players seemed to be upset with referee Vladislav Tseytlin from Uzbekistan who handed out a couple of yellow cards before awarding a red card to Bikash Singh Chhetri for arguing following a free-kick given to India in the 90th minute.
After another 3 and half minutes, the match ended goal less-Nepal definitely ended more content with the result.
Rohit Chand, Biraj Maharjan, Kiran Chemjong and Bikash Singh Chhetri were yellow carded in the match. Chhetri was double yellow carded.
Nepal next play Syria day after tomorrow3 at 7 pm.
India 0-0 Nepal
1-Subrata Pal - 2-Denzil Franco, 3-Raju Gaikwad, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 22-Syed Rahim Nabi - 14-Anthony Pereira, 20-Mehtab Hussain, 6-Lenny Rodrigues (77' 28-Jewel Raja Sheikh), 15-Clifford Miranda (46' 24-Robin Singh) - 26-Francis Fernandes - 11-Sunil Chhetri [C]
16-Kiran Chemjong - 19-Sagar Thapa [C], 32-Rohit Chand, 3-Biraj Maharjan, 5-Bikash Singh Chhetri, 13-Sandip Rai - 15-Raju Tamang, 23-Jagjeet Shrestha, 17-Bhola Nath Silwal (90+2' 10-Anil Gurung) - 11-Jumanu Rai (88' 9-Santosh Sahukhala), 21-Bharat Khawas
Vladislav Tseytlin (Uzbekistan)