|The Indian National Team takes the field for the International Friendly against Nepal|
Moments in a Man’s life don’t come that often. As Strikers, both Sunil and Bhaichung Bhutia have had more than the common man. But this moment for Sunil was different. Hands outstretched, that moment of solitude in front of an estimated Crowd of over 17000. That was his celebration as he went past Bhaichung as India’s highest-ever goalscorer.
The glowing lights at the Kanchenjunga Stadium ensured that Kanchenjunga, even in the dark, stayed a witness. After all, it was a historic moment for Indian Football.
A goal each in both halves ensured India beat Nepal 2-0 in an one-sided International Friendly in Siliguri. If Sunil scored the first, Clifford Miranda scored the second in the 49th, perfectly finishing off a counter-attack in the 49th minute.
Sunil scripted History in the 21st minute when India scored their first goal, which seemed inevitable till then. The movement started after Lalrindika Ralte found an unmarked Clifford Miranda on the left. Robin Singh, whose physical presence was a constant threat for Nepal neatly headed in Clifford’s cross but couldn’t beat an outstretched rival Goalkeeper Kiran Limbu. But an ice-cool Chhetri, following it up, slotted it home.
By then, Victorino had already created an impression on the right. His sudden burst of pace caught the rival defence on the wrong foot twice. But the scoresheet didn’t change.
INDIA: Karanjit Singh; Denzil Franco, Arnab Mondal. Aiborlang Khongjee, Narayan Das (Debut for India); Francis Fernandes (Victorino Fernandes – 75th), Mehtab Hossain, Lalrindika Ralte (Rocus Lamare – 83rd), Clifford Miranda (CK VIneeth – 85th), Sunil Chhetri (Captain), Robin Singh.