The stage was set for the highly-anticipated grand finale of the SAFF Championship on Saturday with India up against Nepal at Maldives National Football Stadium. When the two sides had met earlier in the tournament, it had produced a thrilling contest with India winning it by a solitary goal scored by captain Sunil Chhetri.
As expected, things were evenly poised in the final clash on a rainy evening. Players were finding it difficult to stitch passes as the conditions were making it quite tough for both sides. As a result, no goals were scored in the first half as it ended 0-0.
Two quick goals from India swing the game
However, it looked like the coaching staff of India had a lot to say to the players who returned to the field with an entirely different mentality. They looked more aggressive while attacking as they tried to break the deadlock on the evening.
And the moment finally came in 49th minute when Pritam Kotal delivered a delicious cross from the right flank and Sunil Chhetri headed the ball brilliantly towards the goal, giving the opposition keeper no chance to save.
Watch Sunil Chhetri's goal here:
Just before Nepal could recover from the setback, India came attacking down the right-wing once again, this time through Mohammad Yasir. The 23-year-old played a clever pass to Suresh Singh Wangjam inside the box and the youngster smashed the ball in the back of net with a perfect right-foot finish in the 50th minute.
Watch Suresh Singh's goal here:
In the blink of an eye, India were 2-0 up and were cruising towards a historic 8th SAFF Championship title unless Nepal could do a miracle in the final stages of the contest.