champions-of-nehru-cupDelhi : 2nd September 2012 : INDIAN FOOTBALL TEAM defeated Cameroon on Tie breaker (5-4) after finishing the game in 2-2 draw. Cameroon is a team from  CAF ( Confederation  of African Football ) group whose FIFA world ranking is 59 (out of 206 rankings not countries ) and CAF ranking is  12 (out of 54 countries )  whereas INDIA’s redent FIFA rank is 168 and AFC rank is 32 ( out of  46). Hence, this victory is HISTORIC  for INDIAN FOOTBALL and we hope that INDIAN FOOTBALL WILL TAKE IT”S REAL PLACE in the Minds of INDIANS.

The report by Goal.com

India won a hat-trick of Nehru Cup titles as they overcame the Cameroonian challenge in the final to register a 7-6 (5-4 on pen) victory at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi.

Celebrating with New Dutch Coach Wim Koevermans Gouramangi Moirangthem had given India the lead in the 19th minute with Thierry Makon cancelling it out ten minutes later. In the second half, Kingue Mpondo made it 2-1 in the 54thminute with Sunil Chhetri converting from the spot to level the scores.

The game went on to penalties with the score locked at 2-2 after the end of 120 minutes of play. For India, Robin Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Denzil Franco, Mehtab Hussain and Denzil Franco successfully converted from the spot-kick while Ashu Tambe, Ousmila Baba, Paul Bebey and Kingue Mpondo did the same. Thierry Makon, who was the best player of the match, hit the bar and the ball rolled out much to the delight of the Indians.

Nirmal Chettri made a return into the lineup after having recovered from his injury while Sanju Pradhan was preferred over Anthony Pereira on the right wing by Wim Koevermans as India started in their preferred 4-4-1-1 formation. On the other hand, Cameroon were playing in a 3-5-2 with Ebanga Bertin and Kologny Merime being the two strikers with Thierry Makon occupying the space behind them as an attacking midfielder.

It took just four minutes for Cameroon to create their first opportunity as Abouna Patrick curled in a cross from the left which saw Kologny Merime rise between Gouramangi Moirangthem and Raju Gaikwad to head it over the bar.

nehru-cup-2012 logoThe first chance for India came in the 12th minute when Sunil Chhetri, out of nowhere, made a short run to unleash a stinging shot from distance which was parried off by the Cameroonian custodian which Francis Fernandes couldn’t capitalize on the rebound.

India were closing down the spaces for Cameroon and didn’t allow them much freedom to operate. Lenny Rodrigues was the key figure in the middle of the park as he kept the team ticking with his interceptions and balls forward.

Sunil Chhetri and Gustave Djengue went for a 50-50 ball with the latter fouling the former which earned a free-kick for India as Chhetri clutched his shoulders in agony and had to be stretchered off. That turned out to be a blessing in disguise for India as Clifford Miranda’s ensuing free-kick saw Gouramangi rise above Meyoupo and head the ball in as goalkeeper Lawrence Ngome came off his line in the 19th minute.

Play was held up for good five minutes or so as Lawrence had hurt himself and was eventually substituted for Hosea N.

It didn’t take long for the African side to equalize as Raju Gaikwad’s clearance fell straight into the feet of Thierry Makon who shot from just outside the box beat Subrata Paul just around the half hour mark.

Cameroon took the lead in the 54th minute when Thierry Makon’s flag-kick saw Kingue Mpondo rise above Nirmal Chettri to head the ball home.

Mehtab Hussain played in a through-ball which split the Cameroonian defence and Chhetri found himself in a one-on-one situation. Goalkeeper N.Hosea clipped Chhetri inside the box which left the referee no option but to point towards the spot. The Indian skipper coolly slotted the ball home by sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-2.

Six minutes later Chhetri should have put the game to bed as he missed a header from inside the box, which was arguably India’s easiest chance of the game so far, after Francis had sent in an inch perfect cross from the right.

In the first half of the extra time, the two sides had a chance each to score. Ousmila Baba’s shot from inside the box was blocked brilliantly by Gaikwad for a corner. Robin Singh had an opportunity when he had an open goal to head it in but saw his header go wide from a Clifford Miranda cross in the 105th minute.

Sunil Chhetri- captain INDIAN FOOTBALL TEAMThereafter, Joseph Momaso and Charles Eloundou hit the side-netting in the second half of the extra time.

In the penalties, the Indians held their composure as they were 100% successful from the spot-kicks. Thierry Makon made a hash of his effort as his shot came off the bar which resulted in India defending their Nehru Cup crown successfully.