India beat Nepal 4-1 in SAFF Suzuki Cup, Chhangte Lallianzuala becomes youngest goal scorer for India

18 year old Lallianzuala scores twice in Indias win over Nepal in SAFF Suzuki CupAll the newspapers are abuzz with Chhangte Lallianzuala’s heroics in India’s win against Nepal in the SAFF Suzuki Cup on Sunday as he became the youngest goal scorer for India as the hosts bounced back from a goal down to beat Nepal 4-1. India with this win qualified for the semi-final of the tournament.

18-year-old Lallianzuala's (81st, 90th minute) twin strikes came in the final 10 minutes of the match after Rowlin Borges (26th minute) and skipper Sunil Chhetri found the target for India.

India remained unbeaten in their group engagements, having beaten Sri Lanka 2-0 in the opening fixture, says a report in the Times Of India, adding that, however, India were in for a shock when Nepal took the lead as early as in the third minute of the match through Bimal Magar's strike.

“It took India 20 minutes to get their first shot at the goal through Holicharan Narzary, whose try from outside the box went straight into the hands of Nepal goalie Kiran Chemzong. In the next minute, Sanju Pradhan's shot went just inches wide. But India drew level in the 26th minute when Borges scored from a set piece. Narayan Das' free-kick from the left bounces inside the box and found Borges who lashed it in to score the equaliser. The two teams went into the breather locked at 1-1,” says the report.

According to a report in The Hindu, the second Indian goal was a virtual gift as Nepal defender Jitendra Karki failed to obstruct the cross from Halicharan Narzary on the right flank, and Chhettri, who was lurking behind, made no mistake. “Until Chhettri’s goal, Nepal was very much in the game; it had troubled India with its fast breaks in the second half. Paul came out of his guard to deny Anil Gurung and later fisted away a wickedly curving ball from Heman Gurang. However, Chhettri’s goal opened the floodgates which led to an eventually convincing win,” says the report.

Coach Stephen Constantine made five changes from the team that played against Sri Lanka. Halicharan Narzary came in for the injured Robin Singh to partner captain Chhetri upfront while Paul replaced Gurpreet Singh Sandu under the bar. Borges was rewarded a place in the first XI following his performance against Sri Lanka. Defender Aiborlang Khonjee and midfielder Bikash Jairu were the new players.