Clifford Miranda and Sunil Chhetri’s stand out performance helped
India beat Bhutan 5-0 in a Group A match at the SAFF Championship played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Both Clifford Miranda and Sunil Chhetri scored a brace after Syed Rahim Nabi had put India in the lead in the 29th minute. Courtsey the victory, India now move to the top of Group A standings with four points from two matches and need a draw to against Sri Lanka in their last match on December 7 for a semifinal berth.
The first half was totally dominated by India as they toyed with the Bhutan’s defence. . After the initial misses in which three goals were disallowed for off-side, India eventually scored the first when Nabi headed home a Clifford Miranda corner from the right.
India doubled their lead just before the half-time when Clifford, who was a livewire on the flanks, bulged the net.
Changing over Clifford Miranda registered his second goal in the 58th minute to make it 3-0 for India.
More was in store. Sunil Chhetri, who was till now, playing the feeder and watching others find the target found it best to add his name to the score sheet. He scored in the 69th and 84th minute – the second one had a stamp of authority as he waded past the entire defence and placed it past rival goalkeeper.
India: Karanjit Singh(GK); Syed Rahim Nabi, Mahesh Gawli, Gouramangi Singh, Nirmal Chettri; Clifford Miranda, Climax Lawrence (C) (Jewel Raja – 65th), Rocus Lamare, Anthony Pereira; Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua (Joaquim Abranches – 62nd).
AFGHANISTAN BEAT SRI LANKA 3-1: In an earlier match, Afghanistan came from behind to beat Sri Lanka 3-1. Down by a Mohamed Zain goal in the 12th minute, Man-of-the-match Sanjar Ahmadi scored a brace to bring back Afghanistan in the match. Ahmadi scored in the 24th and the 35th minute respectively. The tireless Yamir Ali completed the rout when he headed in Haroon Fakhrudin corner in the 78th minute.
The victory took Afghanistan to four points from two matches while Sri Lanka stay on three points from two matches.