Defying all odds India defended their Nehru cup title after they defeated the African giants Cameroon 5-4 on penalties in the finals. The score was deadlocked at 2-2 after the 90 minutes. Neither side could produce any goal in the extra time forcing the match to go into the penalty shoot-out.
India held on to their nerves and converted all the five shots while Cameroon missed one shot. It was a neck to neck battle and nothing could separate these sides till the very last moment.
Here are few of the hits and flops of the match:
Syed Rahim Nabi: He was arguably not only the best player of the finals but also the tournament. The left back Nabi was brilliant on the field and not only fended Cameroon forwards but also was extremely dangerous when it came to overlapping runs. He was involved in most of the moves India created and was rightfully awarded the man of the match trophy.
Gourmangi Singh: The full back was the one who gave India the lead in the first half of the match. And it was not only the goal but also his defensive duties that helped the home team. He did well to stop the burly Cameroon forwards from making a surge into the Indian box.
Clifford Miranda: It was Clifford Miranda who assisted Gourmangi with a terrific cross from the right to send India up. But then it was not only that, Miranda brought all his experience into play and was livewire on the pitch. He had a very important role in India’s win in the last.
Raju Eknath Gaikwad: The full back Gaikwad had a terrible tournament. And yesterday was not different. It was his erroneous clearance that saw Cameroon scored their first goal. And that was not it; he did fumble on many occasions in the match.
Kingue Mpondo: Mpondo was the man who gave Cameroon the lead in the second half with a great header. Mpondo was accurate with his ball distribution and his defence piercing runs.
Ebanga Bertin: The striker was not amongst the goals but then he was important part of the Cameroon attack. He was making good runs and it was unfortunate that he could not score last night.
Makon Thierry: He has been stupendous throughout the tournament and even yesterday scored a goal and an assist. But then he missed a shot during the penalty shoot-out which helped India win the Championship. Thierry coming on to take the final shot hit the post.
By Indian Sports News Network