Sunday, June 23, 2024

Chhetri, Miranda star as India rout Bhutan


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NEW DELHI: Striker Sunil Chhetri and Clifford Miranda scored two goals each as a rampaging India drubbed Bhutan 5-0 in their second league match to keep their semifinals hopes alive in the SAFF Championships on Monday.

Chhetri scored in the 69th and 84th minutes while Miranda struck in the 44th and 58th minutes after Syed Rahim Nabi (29th) had given India the lead.

With the win on Monday, India topped Group A with four points and they need a draw in their last group match against Sri Lanka on Wednesday to make it to the semifinals.

Bhutan, on the other hand, crashed out of the tournament after their second straight defeat. They had lost 0-3 to Sri Lanka in their campaign opener on Saturday.

With 1000-odd spectators turning up for the match at the floodlit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, it was the home side who had most of the ball possession with Bhutan never having a shy at the Indian goal in the whole of 90 minutes.

The home side could have won by a bigger margin but for three disallowed goals in the first half. Twice, it was left back Nabi who was ruled off-side while on one occasion it was Chhetri.

Ironically, it was Nabi who gave Indian the lead as he headed in a Miranda corner in the 29th minute. A minute before, Nabi was ruled offside after Chhetri had sent ball home with a right footer.

India, who began the match with two changes from their previous match against Afghanistan with Nirmal Chhetri coming in place of injured Samir Naik and Anthony Pereira replacing Steven Dias, were on the rampage from the beginning and Chhetri wasted two chances early on. (PTI)


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