Monday, 31 August 2009

Nehru Cup: India's biggest football event

India beat Syria 5-4 in a penalty shootout to retain the Nehru Cup on Monday. Nehru Cup is India's only bi-annual international football event.

The game was scoreless after 90 minutes, but India and Syria both scored in extra-time to send the contest to penalties. India won the last Nehru Cup in 2007, also defeating Syria in the final.

The two teams failed to score in regulation time and scored once each in the dying minutes of extra time.

India were first to score when Renedy Singh scored through a free-kick in the 24th minute of extra time, but Ali Dyab came up with a stupendous header in the last minute to sink Indian hopes of a clear-cut victory.

Both teams converted three of their first five penalties before the deadlock was broken when the shootout went to sudden death. Indian players scored on their first two shots and goalkeeper Subrata Paul clinched the issue by saving the second Syrian attempt. Paul in an amazing display of reflexes and anticipation saved three spot kicks in the tie-breaker after.

Click here to read featured article on health of Indian sports.


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