India vs. Nepal, SAFF Championship final: India won 3-0 and became a 2021 winner

India drew with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in their first two matches and jeopardized their participation in the championship final. A 3-1 victory over the Maldives secured India a place in the final thanks to a double strike by mascot Sunil Chhetri. 

Nepal showed they were unmatched in this tournament, starting at 168th, ranking 61st below India. The Nepali team have won the Maldives and drew with Bangladesh. India needed a goal in the second half from Chhetri to beat them in the round-robin match.

Highlights: Chhetri gave India the lead after he burst into the game and accurately headed a shot from Pritam Kotal’s feed from the right flank. That left the Nepalese goalkeeper no chance to come to the aid of his team. Another Indian attack caught Nepal off guard within a few minutes after Chhetri’s goal. Suresh found the ball in the back of the net after Yasir Mohammad cut the ball brilliantly for the midfielder.

India pressed on for more but couldn’t increase the score for a while before Sahal hit the opposition goal with his solo shot. Manvir Singh had a chance, but his left-footed shot didn’t find a target before Sahal’s shot in the 52nd minute.

Udanta Singh had an excellent chance to shoot on goal in the 79th minute. Still, Rohit Chand stopped the Indian striker with a superb block. Sahal Abdul Samad scored the third goal, and India defeated Nepal (3-0) and won the championship for the eighth time.

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