Sunil Chhetri goal helped India beat Nepal 1-0 and saved the seven-time champions from elimination in the 2021 SAFF Championship.
Quick-fix solutions will not take Indian football anywhere. Hosting big FIFA-sanctioned events would not mask the problems facing the sport.
Captain Sunil Chhetri scored his 77th international goal as seven-time champions India survived the Nepalese test in the 2021 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship.
Indian national football team needs a win against Nepal to keep their SAFF Championship 2021 hopes alive. Check match and telecast details.
The seven-time champions paid the price of not creating enough chances and wasting those they got against a Sri Lankan side 98 places below them in the FIFA rankings.
India were held to a 1-1 draw by a 10-man Bangladesh side in Male, Maldives on Monday.
Chhetri, playing in his 121st match for India, struck in the 27th minute to place himself just a goal shy of legendary Brazillian Pele (77 goals from 92 matches).
Seven-time champions India are the overwhelming favourites to win the 2021 edition of SAFF Championship in the Maldives. Check tournament and telecast details.
The five-team tournament began on Friday with Nepal and Bangladesh beating the Maldives and Sri Lanka by identical 1-0 margins respectively.
India, who have won the regional football tournament seven times out of the 12 editions, open their campaign against Bangladesh on Monday.
The 57th ranked Indian team have been winless in the five matches they have played this year so far. The Blue Tigress will play Tunisia on Monday.
After a 1-1 draw in the first friendly, India notched up a 2-1 win in the second game against Nepal on Sunday
Just as the match neared the end, the home team pulled one back in the 87th minute through Tej Tamang
At 105, India are ranked above the 171st placed Nepal in the FIFA rankings, but still the Chhetri-led side produced a below-par show in the first match
The Blue Tigers haven’t been able to get a practice field since their first match on September 2 and have been stuck in the team hotel since then.
The matches kick-start India's preparations for next month's SAFF Championships in the Maldives
The five-team SAFF Championships will be held from October 3 to October 13 at the National Stadium in Male.
India are scheduled to play Nepal on September 2 and September 5 in two away games
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