Indian mens gold jinx in SAG football continues

first_imgBy Philem Dipak Singh Guwahati, Feb 15 (PTI) Indian mens football teams long wait for a gold in the South Asian Games after 1995 continued as they lost 1-2 against Nepal in the summit clash of the 12th edition of the event, here today. In a closely-fought final, India took the lead in the 31st minute with Holicharan Nazary converting a penalty kick but Nepal replied strongly in the second half by pumping in two goals through Prakash Thapa (66th) and Nawayug Shreshtha (72nd) to win the match at the Indira Gandhi Stadium. India thus settled for the silver while Bangladesh took the bronze after defeating Maldives 7-6 via penalty shoot-out in the third-place play-off today. India had won gold in 1995 in the then Madras and since then they have played in two finals, including todays summit clash but ended up on the losing side. In 2004, India had lost to Pakistan in the final in Islamabad. In 2006 and 2010, they had not reached the final. The match began on an even keel with India getting some fine goal-bound moves with striker Udanta Singh putting pressure on the opposition defence. From one such attacking move, India earned a spot kick after Udanta was fouled by Ananta Tamang in the 31st minute and Holicharan stepped up to convert it and put the home side 1-0 up. Nepal, however, came back strongly after resumption and they were definitely the better side in the early part of the second half as they got some fine chances. In the 66th minute, they got a free-kick and Prakash Thapa curled it to the left of the Indian goalkeeper with the home side defensive wall rooted at the ground to stun the home crowd, which also had Games Chairman and Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal among them. India were also saved from conceding another goal in the 69th minute with central defender Sandesh Jhingan clearing the ball from goal-line after the home team custodian was beaten. Nepal were not to be denied the lead and the eventual winning goal came in the 72nd minute as Nawayug Shreshtha connected a fine cross from the left with a right-footed strike that beat the Indian goalkeeper who dived to his right. India could have equalised quickly but Mawihmingthangas shot in the 74th minute from close range was palmed away by the Nepalese goalkeeper. Five minutes later, Rowlin Borges header in front of an empty Nepal goal went over the bar. PTI PDS SSC SSCadvertisementlast_img read more

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