Gold Cup: Sabitra brace sinks India

Two goals in as many minutes from Sabitra Bhandari steered Nepal to a 2-1 win over India in the Hero Gold Cup 2019 on Monday.

Action from the Hero Gold Cup clash between India and Nepal on Monday.   -  AIFF MEDIA

Nepal forward Sabitra Bhandari's brace did the trick as India slumped to a 1-2 defeat against Nepal in its second game of the Hero Gold Cup 2019 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Monday.

In the other clash of the day, Myanmar beat Iran 2-0 to remain go to the top of the table with six points from two games, while India and Nepal are locked in second place with three points each. Iran is yet to open its account.

Myanmar players celebrate during their 2-0 win over Iran on Monday.   -  Biswaranjan Rout


Sabitra struck her first goal as early as the fourth minute and scored her second two minutes later to give Nepal a 2-0 lead with six minutes on the clock. It was an uphill for Maymol Rocky’s side here on.

Dalima Chibber came close to pegging one back for India but her long-range effort missed the target by a whisker. In the 40th minute, Sanju's lay-off was collected by Jabamani Tudu, but her cross was too heavy for an onrushing Anju Tamang. India got another chance in first half injury time but Anju's shot only managed to find the side-netting.

Sanju and Sandhiya, who replaced Anju in the 57th minute, coordinated well but failed to find the back of the net. A minute later, Sanju tucked in a goal but was ruled offside.

India found a late consolation goal through Ratanbala Devi in the 83rd minute. The home side won a freekick at the top of the box and Ratanbala converted it exquisitely to offer the Indians a glimmer of hope.

Though the Indian eves tried their best to find the elusive equaliser, the Nepalese defence stood strong to pocket all three points.

India will next face Myanmar in the final game of the group stage on Wednesday.

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