SAF: India finish fourth in football

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:36 IST

India's campaign in the South Asian Games football competition ended in shambles when they went down 0-2 to lowly Nepal in the bronze medal playoff.

SAF: India finish fourth in football

Colombo:

India's campaign in the South Asian Federation Games football competition ended in shambles when they went down 0-2 to lowly Nepal in the bronze medal playoff. Nepal scored both the goals within the initial 10 minutes to ensure the Indians, who had won the silver in the last edition of the Games in Islamabad, went home empty-handed. Jumanu Rai put the tiny Himalayan nation in the lead in the third minute and Pradeep Maharjan netted in the seventh to give their team a memorable victory over their more fancied rivals at the Police Park ground. The Indian team, comprising mainly U-20 players, was keen to salvage prestige after losing the semi final 5-6 to Sri Lanka on penalties, but the script unfolded otherwise as they were overwhelmed by the agile Nepalese. Having fallen behind so early on in the match, it proved difficult for Islam Akhmedov's boys to stage a fightback. The two teams had finished 1-1 in the league stage. The performance of goalkeeper Shilton Paul was below par as also the show by the defence. Nepal, who had lost 1-2 to Pakistan in the semis, were served well by the strikers who penetrated the Indian defence with ease on a number of occasions. After an exciting first half, both teams stuck to a defensive game -- India wary of conceding another goal and Nepal keen to defend their lead till the final whistle. The final of the competition would be played later tonight between Pakistan and Sri Lanka. (PTI)

Topics : Football India
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