After a 1-1 draw in the first international friendly, India have finally managed to beat Nepal 2-1 in the second match. The hosts were dominant in the first half but they were not clinical enough to take advantage of their stronghold.
The tides turned in the second half as Farukh Choudhury replaced Bipin Singh and handed the Blue Tigers with the opening goal. India gradually started dominating possession but Nepal were still creating chances. India’s victory was assured only after Sunil Chhetri doubled the scoreline. However, Teja Tamang came up with a stunning goal to restore some hope for the fans present in the stands.
Stimac addressed the media after the game at the post-match press conference. He lauded both the teams for playing an exciting match. He said, “The second game was much better from both sides. Obviously, the reason for that is we had a better pitch, not good enough, but still better than the last time we played. I felt this was far more than a friendly game and we need to congratulate the players from both teams. Their attitude, their willingness to go and to play the game.
“Especially, I need to appreciate my players because they were much more patient this time…to open up Nepalese defence. As you know, when that happens, things will be much easier.”
He highlighted how the Nepalese team has improved a lot over the years. “Nepalese team, after losing the ball, got 10 players behind the ball in the first half. There were no areas and spaces where we could hurt them, they were coming on the wide areas. We did not have the capability today to break through. Only two-three good crosses we made in the first-half, although there were mistakes we made in the first-half which are not normal on a normal pitch.”
The Croatian highlighted how the first goal changed the entire course of the game in India’s favour. He said, “After we scored that first goal, we started rising up with confidence…overall India was the better team in these two games and deservedly going home with a victory.
“Nepali team played well, they improved in the box, they improved a lot. I can see how much it means to the team when it has two months of preparation, spending time together and all that. India still has a lot to prove and many points to improve on.”