Football

India trounces Mauritius

Slipping it in: Robin Singh scores the equaliser against Mauritius in the Tri Nation series international.

Slipping it in: Robin Singh scores the equaliser against Mauritius in the Tri Nation series international.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre;Vivek Bendre -

Constantine gives all some playtime

India made optimum use of the opportunity to give players match time against Mauritius. Stephen Constantine pulled out first-half goalscorer Robin Singh, experienced goalkeeper Subrata Paul, pacy winger Jackichand Singh at half-time, playmaker Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Holicharan Narzary later. Shrugging off a tentative showing early on, a cohesive and charged-up home team backed it up with goals for a 2-1 victory in the Hero Tri-Nation Tournament at the Mumbai Football Arena.

Crossing over on level terms against the nimble visitors, Balwant Singh asserted his presence in the attack with a 62nd minute goal, India’s second. He read a flick by Jeje Lalpekhlua, off a pass from Lyngdoh and slotted home and celebrated as the ball deflected in off the goalkeeper. Amrinder Singh showed a safe pair of hands coming off as replacement for Paul. Nikhil Poojary and Mohammed Raifuqe, Jerry Lalrinzuala were other substitutes.

Mauritius showed skill and intent at the start, was confident on the ball and deservedly went a goal ahead. Jeje Lalpekhlua proved elusive and with his midfielders raising their game after the half-time changes, Indian oveer-ran the 160-ranked visitors for the reminder of the friendly. Lalpekhlua came off near the whistle, cheered by fans on the way out for delightful moments on the pitch. Mahvir Singh got a look-in as the fifth substitute.

India started with a settled backline. Constantine started with Jhingan, Anas as central defenders and Narayan Das, Pritam Kotal manning the flanks.

Subrata Paul under the bar, given the chance ahead of Amrinder Singh, controlled a shot by Jean Justin before getting beaten in the 14th minute.

Mauritius made a move on the left, Joseph Kevin crossed and the ball which bounced off Narayan. Jean Jocelyn seized the chance to fire in past Paul. Holicharan Narzary got close to target with a throw-in to Jeje Lalpekhlua whose return pass was not read in time by his teammate.

Jhingan tried to get to the business end of a Eugeneson Lyngdoh free-kick and managed to float the ball beyond the goalkeeper and drop into space beyond the left post, but the Indian skipper was also deceived by the flight and the visitors escaped.

India broke free of anxiety in the midfield and loss of ball possession through a delightful long pass by Rowlin Borges. The midfielder threaded ball through the defence diagonally from the right. Robin Singh slipped past his marker, used pace to reach the ball and beat goalkeeper Kevin Jean-Louis with a left-footed shot.

The result: India 2 (Robin Singh 37, Balwant Singh 62) bt Mauritius 1 (Jean Jocelyny 14).

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 6:04:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/india-trounces-mauritius/article19525968.ece

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