Bhubaneswar, June 9
A dominant India struck two quick first-half goals to beat Mongolia 2-0 and begin their Intercontinental Cup campaign on a winning note here at the Kalinga Stadium today.
Sahal Abdul Samad and Lallianzuala Chhangte scored in the second and 14th minutes, respectively, as the 101st-ranked Indians emerged victorious over their opponents, who are placed 183rd in the world, in hot and humid conditions.
India, the 2018 edition champions, dominated the match, attacking and creating chances while the Mongolians were left to defend their citadel. The home side had a 65 per cent possession in the match.
The only worrying part for head coach Igor Stimac was the inability of his attackers to find the opposition’s net on numerous occasions in the second half.
Captain and talisman Sunil Chhetri had a relatively quiet day as he played deeper than he usually does and was replaced by Rahim Ali in the 71st minute. Lalengmawia Ralte also was not up to the mark and was replaced by Jeakson Singh.
India made a fast start and were 2-0 up inside 15 minutes with strikes from Sahal and Chhangte.
India play Vanuatu in their second round-robin league match on Monday. — PTI
Lebanon beat Vanuatu 3-1
Bhubaneswar: Captain Hassan Maatouk led by example with two assists as higher-ranked Lebanon opened their Intercontinental Cup campaign with a 3-1 victory over Vanuatu here today. Lebanon found the net through Nader Matar (59th minute), Hassan Kourani (72nd) and Karim Darwich (85th), while John Wohale (62) scored Vanuatu’s only goal.
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