India defeated Nepal 2-0 in their second match of the SAFF Championship 2023 thanks to the second-half goals of the team captain Sunil Chhetri and the newcomer Naorem Mahesh Singh. Apart from goals one of the highlights of the SAFF Championship match consisted of the Indian players yet again engaging in an ugly brawl with the opposition team resulting in yellow cards for both teams.
Unpleasant scenes in India vs Nepal SAFF Championship game
In the opening half of the match, team India faced difficulties in taking control, but they entered the second half determined to secure victory. India’s initial struggle to gain control of the match set the stage for an intense second half. Their mission became a reality merely 16 minutes into the second half when Sunil Chhetri scored his 91st international goal from a wonderful cross of Naorem Mahesh Singh. As the game progressed, frustration grew in the Nepal camp and amongst the Nepal players as they started to indulge in silly challenges.
One such incident took place when the Nepali striker Bimal Gharti Magar fouled the Indian centre-back, Rahul Bheke. Just after falling behind in the game, Magar committed an unnecessary foul against Bheke. Unable to control his emotions, Bheke pushed Magar, starting a heated brawl between players from the neighbouring nations. The situation escalated as more players from both sides got involved, resulting in arguments and physical confrontations. After a few moments, the peace was restored. Fortunately for Bheke and Magar, they somehow managed to avoid red cards and settled for yellow.
— Hari (@Harii33) June 24, 2023
It was the second time in the tournament that India got involved in a fight due to their ‘never back down’ mentality. In their 4-0 win against Pakistan in the previous match, head coach Igor Stimac started a situation that resulted in his suspension from the Nepal game. Stimac’s actions led to a controversy that not only impacted the coach but also reflected the determination of the Indian team.
Nonetheless, this new India is looking like a compact unit that is willing to fight till the end and play for the badge till the final whistle – something the Indian football and its fan have missed for years. A big credit goes to the team management and coaching staff for revolutionizing the national football team as they march on to register their eighth straight clean sheet. With this victory, India is now in a comfortable position to qualify for the knockouts of the tournament as they aim to lift the SAFF Championship yet again.