MATCH REVIEW : INDIA vs SRI LANKA , ONGC NEHRU CUP 2009
Defending champions INDIA kept their hopes alive in the ONGC Nehru cup, after overcoming Sri Lanka 3-1 in a crucial tie that promised a place in the next stage ,at the Ambedkar stadium in NEW DELHI.
The action didn't took long to start; First chance : Sunil Chettri heading past the goalkeeper at the far post, only to his disappointment that the goal being disallowed due to offside. Next chance : a Steven Dias shot which was saved by goalie's fingertips. INDIA clearly had an upper hand and it took only 25 minutes of patience to break the dead-lock. Skipper Bhaichung put his side ahead through a header at the far post from a superb ball-in from Right wing by Steven Dias.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time, the Lankans bounced back to equalise in the 61st minute when Ruwanthilake headed home from a corner by Raumy Mohideen.
INDIA's second goal was scored by stopper Gaurmangi Singh who slotted in from a few yards away after Pradeep forced a save from the goalie courtesy of an excellent free-kick from WHO OTHER THAN BUT STEVEN DIAS HIMSELF.
Justice was made finally, when STEVEN DIAS who played major roles in both of INDIA's goals , himself managed to score with a stinging bullet shot with his right foot, late in the game to put the match beyond doubt. He was substituted two minutes before time, only to walk-off the field in style owing to a standing ovation from the stadium packed crowd of 12,000 fans.
A much more refined performance by the midfield led to a flurry of attacks through-out the game. It was a delight to watch how a rudderless Indian midfield woke up from slumber to lead an attack which had the Lankan team in all sorts of trouble.
India is placed second in the group with 6 pts from 3 games and a 2 goal difference, only behind group leaders SYRIA who are at 9 pts from same number of games.
PREVIOUS MATCHES OF INDIA IN ONGC NEHRU CUP:
INDIA vs LEBANON 0-1
INDIA vs KYRGYZSTAN 2-1