Indian football team beat Cambodia 3-2 to break 11-year-old jinx

Mar 23, 2017, 08:32 IST | IANS

India broke the jinx of not having won an away friendly since June 2006 when they beat Cambodia 3-2 in at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium yesterday

Sunil Chhetri scored India’s first goal against Cambodia yesterday  Sunil Chhetri scored India’s first goal against Cambodia yesterday  

Phnom Penh (Cambodia): India broke the jinx of not having won an away friendly since June 2006 when they beat Cambodia 3-2 in at the Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium yesterday.

India will play Myanmar in their Asian Cup qualifiers on March 28, and this game was billed as a dress rehearsal. The visitors took time to dust the rustiness off their play after missing out on international football for six months. India last played in September during their 1-1 win over Puerto Rico.

Talismanic forward Sunil Chhetri (36th) opened the scoring for the tourists before Khuon Laboravy (37th) equalised a minute later to help the home team go into halftime 1-1.

Substitutes Jeje Lalpekhlua (50th) and Sandesh Jhinghan (54th) struck in the second half to pull away but Stephen Constantine’s wards were kept on tenterhooks till the end as Chan Vathanaka (62nd) pulled one back to make it 3-2.

India took the lead after Chhetri tapped into an empty net. The jubilation lasted only a minute as Cambodia levelled through Laboravy, who netted at the near post from a Prak Mony Udom low cross which skipper and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu should have dealt with.

In the second half, India were rewarded within five minutes when Lalpekhlua found the back of the net. One minute later, Robin Singh should have made it 3-1 but failed to pull the trigger. But from the resultant corner, Jhinghan leapt highest to nod in India’s third goal. Ten minutes later, Vathanaka struck from outside the box.

Skipper Gurpreet was at full stretch but failed to save the shot as the ball nestled into the bottom right corner of the net.

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