India beat Cameroon 5-4 to win Nehru Cup for third time
India lifted the Nehru Cup for the third consecutive time beating Cameroon 5-4 in a penalty shootout at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here yesterday
Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Denzil Franco, Mehtab Hossain and Clifford Miranda all scored from the spot while Thierry Makon struck the right-post to give India an unprecedented win.
In an end-to-end match which went into penalties, a valiant India held their more fancied opponents 2-2 in normal time.
Central defender Gourmangi Singh sent the 12,000 strong crowd into a frenzy as he beat the off-side trap to head in a Clifford Miranda free-kick in the 19th minute.
The Cameroon defence was absent as two Indian players were left completely free. There was more bad news for the Africans as goalkeeper Ngome Lawrence had to be substituted after he collided with Gourmangi.
It didn’t take Cameroon much time to find the equaliser. Raju Gaikwad’s clearance fell straight to Makon Thierry, who shot past Indian custodian Subrata Paul from outside the box in the 29th minute.
Thierry also played a key role in Cameroon’s second. His precise flag-kick allowed Kingue Mpondo to head into an open net in the 54th minute.
With things looking dim for India, Sunil Chhetri gave the fans their voice again from a well-taken spot-kick in the 78th minute.
Mehtab Hossain’s brilliant chipped through ball found the Indian captain in acres of space. Chhetri looked to have made a hash of things, but recovered well only to be brought down by substitute keeper Nkessi Hosea.
India started the match the brighter of the two, continuously making inroads into the Cameroon third.
Chhetri had the first shot of the match but his drive from well outside the box was easily saved.
Cameroon looked a little shell-shocked by India's aggressiveness in the first 20 minutes.
Gouramangi’s goal seemed to wake Cameroon from slumber. The Africans dominated the play thenceforth, putting the Indian defence under tremendous pressure.
Midfielder Lenny Rodrigues did his reputation no harm by putting in a sterling performance.
Along with Mehtab Hossain he closed down the Cameroon players, forcing them to misplace their passes. —