India play out a goalless draw with Nepal
Story Dated: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 19:30 hrs IST
Indian (Red) and Nepalese players vie for the ball during their Nehru Cup match in New Delhi on Tuesday.
New Delhi: The wet surface at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium had the final say as defending champions India and Nepal played out a goalless draw in the Nehru Cup football tournament here Tuesday.
Needing a win to seal a place in the final for the third time in a row, India showed intent but could never find the much-needed goal against a side that fought bravely after coming off two reverses.
India, who play their last game against Cameroon on Friday, still have a chance to make the final, but will have to wait and see how tomorrow's match between Maldives and Cameroon pan out.
While a win for Maldives will leave India with no option but to beat Cameroon in their next match, a positive result for the African nation will be more beneficial to the hosts.
India had a serious chance of breaking the deadlock towards the end. But it was due to goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong's brilliant effort against Robin Singh's power-packed volley that ensured Nepal shared the honours.
The Nepali custodian was a busy man in the second half as a desperate India looked for that elusive goal.
A minute before Robin's attempt, Franics Fernandes released the ball for Jewel Raja, who dribbled past Sagar Thapa but the India's right-footed attempt was palmed away by the keeper for a corner.
Life was made difficult by the continuous downpour of rain which left the surface wet. Even as the ball stopped, not just on a few occasions, but through the first 45 minutes, the match continued. Adding to the frustration was the drizzle.
Not only were the players frustrated, the sizeable turnout too, went home disappointed.