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Aug 29:FINAL: India (N.P.Pradeep 44') 1 - 0 Syria

Chak Dia India

Bob Houghton’s Boys made India proud with a superb victory over Syria

29.08.2007:A packed stadium was supporting team India, the entire football fraternity was watching it live on Zee Sports….Who wasn’t watching it in Delhi??? Virender Sehwag, Sheila Dixit and many more celebrities from different walks of life were there in the stands to watch Indian football team take on the mighty Syrians.

And a surprise gift for every Indian today who was there to cheer for the men in blue.India took the field with the underdog’s tag after their group league defeat against the West Asian rivals. 39 places up in the FIFA rankings, the Syrians never found it easy right from the start of the match with Bob Houghton made his strategy well planned. Indians played a good attacking game to thwart the rivals at every stage of the match. The men in blue could have shot into the lead early in the match but Sunil Chhetri failed to convert from a handshaking distance. Sunil’s head went just out on another occasion.

OOPSSS!! What a great chance!!!!!!!

Then came the moment towards the fag end of the first half….. N.P Pradeep put India ahead ( 44th Minutes)with an excellent right footer from just outside the penalty box after receiving a miscued Baichung Bhutia cycle kick.


Syrians lost temperament a number of times and Wale Ayan was red carded for a deliberate kicking. 10 men Syria came back strongly in the second half but the Indian custodian Subrata Paul was brilliant under the bar on numerous occasions to keep the Syrians at bay.Baichung Bhutia came very close to make it 2-0 but missed an easy opening towards the middle of the second half.But who remembers the score-line. It’s all about winning……And Indian football team has done that. Let’s celebrate the glorious moment of Indian football.


The Indian captain Baichung Bhutia walked up the dais to receive the winners trophy and prize money, a cheque of 40,000 USD along with an additional 40,000 USD bonus provided by the sponsors ONGC that would be divided amongst the players of Indian Football team. A football high that saw the Indian squad win the hearts of its supporters in its effort to make the game famous in India.

INDIA Team: Subrata Pal; Irungbam Surkumar Singh, Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Nanjangud Shivnanju Manju; Steven Dias, Climax Lawrence,Naduparambil Pappachan Pradeep, Krishnan Nair Ajayan (80'lifford Miranda);Sunil Chetri (90+4' Tarif Ahmed), Baichung Bhutia [C] (90+2' Abhishek Yadav).

SYRIA Team: Musab Balhous; Ali Dyab, Firas Issmael, Aatef Jenyat, Khaled Mansoor Al Baba, Mootassem Alaya (84' Ali Al Rifayi), Zain Al Fandy, Mahmoud Al Amenah (46' Ibrahim Al Hasan), Wael Ayan; Zyad Chaabo (88' Anas Al Asaf), Maher Al Sayed [C].

R/C:Wale Ayan 45+3',Y/C - Al Baba 18',M.Alaya 38' (Syria)

Y/C - Steven Dias 54',Baichung 64',K.Ajyan 80'(India)

By K. Chakraborty & Shankar Dhar… Delhi

Baichung Bhutia is still a positive influence for National Team: Derek Pereira

Baichung Bhutia : The Team India Captain

29.08.2007::Steven Dias, Surkumar Singh, K. Ajayan, Mahesh Gawli and Sur Kumar Singh---- All five played together for Mahindra United last season….The ‘fabulous five’ are performing consistently for team India in Nehru Cup; Mahindra coach Derek Pereira feels proud for his boys…. Derek shared his opinion on the national football team. How do you evaluate India’s performance so far in Nehru Cup?

Derek: India is playing good football. It is an overall improvement what I’ve seen so far ….The team is playing good attacking football. Do you feel increase in the standards of National Football League is the reason India’s good show in Nehru Cup?

Derek: Not really; we need to improve the coaching standards of NFL…The credit goes to Bob Houghton for India’s good show. Bob is a thorough professional….And the result has slowly started to reflect in national team’s performance. India is already up 11 places in FIFA ranking after a couple of wins under their belt….It is expected rise a few places more next week. How is our chance to break into the top 100?

Derek: It is still some time needed for a top 100 ranking. May be two to three years more….It’s a gradual process and we need to build up step by step. Apart from developing a good team we have to build our bench strength as well who should be capable to replace these national team boys any time. Steven Dias is a revelation in Nehru Cup. Was he under utilized before in National squad?

Derek: Yes; may be it is like that way. Steven is doing very well and already won two Man of the Match award in this tournament…..These days most of the coaches are looking for strong footballers with good height. Steven is not that type but proved out to be an asset for the team. Indian football team will train in Dubai before the world cup qualifier match against Lebanon…Isn’t it a great decision?

Derek: Yes, of course it is a great decision…. The atmosphere in Dubai will be almost similar to Lebanese condition. It is going to help the players….In Nehru Cup India is playing the countries which are very close to our ranking or may be a few places up…Victories against these team definitely boost the confidence up. Psychologically it helps. Baichung is still scoring goals for the country…..

Derek: Oh yes…. He plays with a lot of spirit and as always he is still a positive influence for Team India. It is very nice to see he is helping the boys to perform as a team. One last question…..How is India’s chances against Syria in the final?

Derek: I haven’t seen the earlier match against Syria; just saw the highlights in television and the way India fought, it seems anything can happen. The defense looked a bit un organized. Twice it was totally split and India conceded goals. We have to minimize the lapses in defense but if we fight with the right spirit anything can happen. We have to fight till the end. By Team - Mumbai

India Eyeing Glory

27.08.2007:Bob Houghton’s boys all set to take on Syria in Nehru Cup Final. Very few would have thought that India is capable to put up a fight against Syria when they clashed in group league stage. After their spirited show in all four matches, Bob Houghton’s boys are getting awe and respect even from their opposition in the final.

Syria is not taking India lightly as Baichung Bhutia and co. are performing consistently in Nehru Cup. The West Asian nation found it easier without the presence of Deepak Mondal in Indian defense when they faced India earlier. Deepak won’t be there in the final but things might not be the same for Syria as experienced Indian coach is expected to come up with a different strategy for them.

Indian players looked a bit complacent after getting an early lead in Syria match but against Kyrgyzstan they were up with a mission.A win against Syria in the final would make the mission accomplished….And Team India is eyeing for that 90 minutes to make it happen.

A report.

25.08.2007:India in Nehru Cup Final : 3 - 0 win against Kyrgyzstan

Scorers: India:Baichung Bhutia 39', Sunil Chettri 59', Abhisekh Yadav 92''

India defeated Kyrgyzstan to enter the final of Nehru Cup in New Delhi. Baichung Bhutia displayed his vintage class in front of almost capacity crowd in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium as he gave India the lead in 39th minute after dodging past a couple of Kyrgyzstan defenders.

Sunil Chhetri made it 2-0 after a measured Steven Dias cross found him in front of the goal. Chhetri had to tap it in and the local lad didn’t make any mistake. Indian coach Bob Houghton replaced Baichung and brought in Abhishek Yadav towards the middle of the second half and the Mumbai F.C striker scored his first goal in Nehru cup just before the final whistle.

India will now meet Syria in the final on 29th August.

A Report.


Subrata Paul, Gaurmangi Singh, N.S Manju, Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Steven Dias, (K Ajayan 56th min), Renedy Singh,Climax Lawrence, N.P. Pradeep, (Clifford Miranda 61), Bhaichung Bhutia (Abhushek Yadav 68), Sunil Chetri.


Maxim Agapov; Vyacheslav Amin [C], Talant Samsaliev, Radik Vodopianov (75' Roman Kornilov), Sergey Kniazev, Aibek Bokoev, Vadim Harchenko, Sergey Kniazev, Pavel Sidorenko (63' Timur Valiev), Hurshil Lutfullaev (45' Alambazek Mirzalive), Ruslan Jamshidov.

29.08.2007:FINAL: 6.30PM : INDIA Vs SYRIA

25.08.2007:Syria 5 - 1 Cambodia

Scorers: Syria: Alzeno 25', Chaabo 35', Al Sayed 51',88',Jeneyat 80'
Scorers:Cambodia:Vathanak 70'.

Favorite Syria finished their league matches with an all –win record with 12 points in four matches and scored 14 goals. With his 5 goals Syria’s striker Zyad Chaabo is surely going to be the the top-scorer of this Tournament.Captain of The Syrian Team Maher Al Sayed is just behind him with 4 goals.

while Cambodia have got only 1 point by scoring 4 goals only and finished bottom of the league table of the Tournament

CAMBODIA:13-Pich Rovenyothin, 2-Chan Dara (83' 6-Om Thavrak), 3-Kim Chan Bonrith, 4-Thul Southearith, 5-Soun Thoun, 7-Oum Veasna, 15-Sam Minar (46' 8-Keo Kosal), 18-Pok Chan Than [C], 17-Hok Sotitya (68' 12-Khim Borey), 11-Teab Vadhanak, 9-Samel Nasa.

SYRIA: 25-Radwan Al Azhar [C], 2-Anas Al Asaf, 5-Adeeb Barakat, 6-Ibrahim Al Hasan, 7-Mohamed Al Zeno (50' 13-Aatef Jenyat), 15-Zain Al Fandy, 12-Mootassem Alaya (46' 23-Firas Issmael), 8-Mahmoud Al Amenah, 18-Ali Al Rifayi, 19-Majd Aldden Homsi, 20-Zyad Chaabo (46' 9-Maher Al Sayed [C])

24.08.2007:Bangladesh 0 - 3 Kyrgyzstan

Scorers: KYR:H.Lutfullaev 28', 54',R.Djamshidov 59'

Former Indian National Coach Syed Nayeemuddin's new Team Bangladesh has got only 1 point and scored only 1 goal in their 4 matches of ONGC Nehru Cup Tournament at Delhi. Currently 176 FIFA Ranking Team Bangladesh lost to Kyrgzistan by 0 - 3 margin today. Bangladesh is now fourth and will remain in this position, due to a superior goal difference, if Cambodia draws or wins against hot favourite Syria in their last league match on Saturday 25th August.

After winning 3 - 0 against Bangladesh,Kyrgyzstan and India is standing now with on six points from three matches each. India has an advantage of goal difference of +6(In 3 matches 9 goals Scored & 3 Goals against) where compared to Kyrgyzstan’s goal difference is +1(In 3 matches 8 goals Scored & 7 Goals against).So India now needs at least a draw against Kyrgyzstan on 26th August to qualify for the final of the Tournament.

23.08.2007:Brilliant Indian effort wasn’t enough for a victory

India (Sunil Chettri 13',K.Ajayan 81') 2 - 3 Syria(Khaled M Albba 23', Zyaad Chaabo 45',65')

Bad referring spoiled the day for India…A clear foul against Sunil Chhetri and a late handball in the penalty box by a Syrian defender was over-looked by the referee as Bob Houghton’s boys went down fighting against mighty Syrians in the ONGC Nehru Cup in New Delhi.India started off to spirited note as the mid-field and striking line up combined well and Chhetri gave India the lead at the middle of the first half through a diagonal shot at the goal from the top of the box.

The joy didn’t last long though, as the Syrians came back strongly with an equalizer after just eight minutes. Into the injury time of the first half India conceded another goal as Gourmangi Singh failed to do his duty properly. Syria shot into 3-1 lead with barely 15 minutes left in the match when a long ranger found the net.Then the drama started as Houghton replaced Clifford Miranda and brought K. Ajayan in…. The Mahindra defensive medio produced the best goal so far in the tournament with a fine left footer 35 yards away from the goal to make it 3-2.

India could have equalized from a N.S Manju throw as a Syrian defender handled the ball inside the box…The referee overlooked and there was hardly any time in the clock for an Indian comeback. India is now in a must win situation against Kyrgyzstan to reach the final.

INDIA TEAM: Subrata Paul, Surkumar Singh, N.P. Pradeep (Abhishek Yadav 89), Mahesh Gawli, N.S. Manju, Steven Dias,Gourmangi Singh,Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda (K. Ajayan 70), Biachung Bhutia (Capt.), Sunil Chettri

SYRIA TEAM: Mowssab Blahowss, Khaled M Albba, Aatef Jenyat (Ali Alrfaai 80), Mootassem Alaya(Mahmoud Al Amena 74), Ali Dyeb, Zeen Alabeden, Al Fandi, Waerl Ayan (Abraheim Al Hasan 71),Mahmoud Alzeno,Feras Esmaeel, Zyad Chaabo

Cambodia - Bangladesh match drawn

22.08.2007 :Bangladesh 1 - 1 Cambodia

Scorers: BNG : Md. Abdul Hossain 30'

Scorers: CAM : Keo Kosal 89'

The battle of the bottom two began at the Ambedkar stadium in a rather dull manner.

Both the teams failed to attack in the first half. However Bangladesh took the lead through Mohd. Abul Hussain who headed the ball into the Cambodian defense after an accurate corner taken by veteran Mohd. Alfaz Ahmed. This was the first goal by Bangladesh in the tournament.It seems that the Cambodian defenders have not done their homework after giving away 9 goals in just 2 matches.Cambodians had no shots on goal. The play was mainly in the middle of the park where the midfielders were battling it out for possession and giving it away cheaply .

At half time, Bangladesh lead 1-0. The next half was no different as both the teams struggled to keep the ball. The Coaches did make substitutions but to no avail . Cambodia lacked the attacking panache to score.A Bangladesh victory was on the cards but in the last minute of playing time, Cambodian midfielder Keo Kosal spoiled the Bangla party. Keo Kosal tapped in the ball after receiving a perfect pass from medio Samel Nasa.The match ended with both teams evenly matched. The Man of the Match Award went to Bangladesh's Mohd. Abul Hussain.

News source

Next Match:23.08.2007:India Vs Syria

Favourite Syria Won easily against Kyrgyzstan

21.08.2007 :Syria 4 - 1 Kyrgyzsthan

Scorers: Syria : Al Sayed 7', Zyad Chaabo 43', Mohd. Alzeno 70', Al Hasan 82'

Scorers: Krygyzstan : Ali Dyeb - Sameside 13'

The match between the big two in the ONGC Nehru Cup began with an early flurry goals- both by Syrians.Syrian Captain Al Sayed scored in the 7th minute after a Kyrgyzstan defender failed to clear a ball. The striker cut the ball and shot past the goalkeeper to make it 1-0. This was Al Sayed's second goal of the tournament.

Kyrgyzstan were not the one's who could be stopped either as they launched a massive attack on the Syrian goal. It bore results just 6 minutes after the first goal of the match as Syrian defender Ali Dyeb put the ball behind the Syrian net to his horror.

Both the teams attacked from thereon, though Syrtia were more on the offensive. In the 33rd minute, defender Talant Samsaliev put the ball in for Ruslan Djamshidov who hit a half-volley which didn't trouble the Syrian keeper at all.

The most feared striker of the tournament Zyad Chaabo joined his skipper on the scoresheet in the 43rd minute. Left winger Mohd. Alzeno crossed and a diving header from Zyad was enough to beat the Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper.

At half time , Syria lead 2-1.

Syrians continued to attack in the second half. Just 2 minutes after the break and winger Mond. Alzeno went past two defenders and shot the ball which hit the top of the right post.

The tempo of the game was pretty much the same as the first 45. In the 70th minute, Mohd Alzeno scored to give Syria an indomitable lead. Syria lead 3-1. Mohd. Alzeno continued his good run and in the 82nd minute tested the rival goalkeeper. The rebound saw Abrahiem Al Hasan score his first in the tournament .Both the second hlaf goals were a rsult of Syrian counterattack.

Kyrgyzstan did try to come back in the match but couldn't get past the rock solid Syrian defense led by Zeen Al Abeden Al Fandi. The Man of the Match Award went to Syrian number 23 Captain Al Sayed for his efforts in the front of the goal.

The Kyrgyzstan Coach Nematjan Zakirov didn't come for the post-match conference.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Coach Fajer Ibraahem was satisfied with his team's performance. When asked whether he had a special plan for India, the Coach answered in the affirmative. He said," We have seen them (India) play twice against Bangladesh and Cambodia".

The Coach went expressed pleasure that his team had adapted to the Indian conditions well. He went to say that the match against India on Thursday would be a " dress rehearsal of the final".


Syria: Mowssab Blahowss, Ali Dyeb, Mohammed Alzeno, Zeen Alabedan Al Fandi, Mootassem Alaya, Khaled M. Albaba, Maher Al Sayed (Capt)., Wael Ayan (Abrahiem Al Hasan 71), Aatef Jenyat (Ali Alrifaai 68), Zyad Chaabo (Mahmoud al Amena (83) and Mohammed Alzeno

Kyrgyztan: Valeria Kashuba, Talant Samsaliev, Amin Viacheslav (Timur Valiev 65), Sergei Kniazev, Bakytbek Mamatov , Aibek Bokoev, Davron Askarov (Pavel Sidorenko 74), Vadim Harchenko , Ruslan Djamshidov, Roman Kornilov, Lut Fullaev (Ildar Amirov 47)

News source

India overcomes stiff resistance to notch three points against Bangladesh

20.08.2007: India 1 - 0 Bangladesh

Scorers:Ind:Baichung Bhutia 5'

Cynics might not like the 1-0 score –line against Bangladesh, but at the end of the day its three points what matters…And after round two India is at the top of the table. After producing nearly a perfect show against Cambodia, the expectation was more from the Indian footballers….But the rivals across the border took field with a decent home work under former Indian coach Syed Naimuddin.

India created a lot of chances but Bangladesh were not far behind. It could have been a goal scoring spree had 50 percent of the chances were converted into goals.Captain Baichung Bhutia scored the all important goal on the 5th minute of the match. Mid-fielders and the forward line played well like a cohesive unit and created openings a number of times. Indian defense on the other hand were a little nervous in patches as absence of N.P Pradeep was felt.

Excellent performance of Subrata Paul under the bar made the decision of Bob Houghton justified putting him in place of veteran Sandip Nandy. Paul rescued team India a in a number of occasions where the defenders came close of conceding goals.After two consecutive wins under the belt, India will take on the Syrians on 23rd August which could well be a rehearsal for the Final match.

India’s team:

Subrata Paul, Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal (Syed Rahim Nabi), Mahesh Gawli, N.S. Manju, Steven Dias, Mehrajuddin Wadoo, Climax Lawrence, Renedy Singh (Clifford Miranda, Baichung Bhutia (Capt.—Tarif Ahmed) and SunilChettri.


Bipalab Bhattacharjee, Mohd Ariful Islam, Rajni kanta Burman, Kazi nazrul islam (Capt.), Mohd Waly Faisal, Mohd Zahid Hossain, Mohd Abul Hossain, Arman Aziz, Firoj Mahmud Hossain, Jahid Hasan Ameli and Mohd Robin (Mohd Alfaz Ahmed)

Man of the Match: Subrata Paul (India)

Referee: Surendra Sikhrakar (Nepal)

A Report.

19.08.2007: Kyrgyzstan 4 - 3 Cambodia

Scorers:KYR:Talant Samsaliev (12'), Baky't Mamatov (17'), Ruslan Djamshidov (48'), Vadim Harchenko (65')

Scorers:CAM:Hok Sotitya (34', 40') , Chin Chum (43')

Kyrgyzstan won their opening match against Cambodia in the ONGC Nehru Cup. The match was lively from the word go. Kyrgyzstan lived up to their reputations of being favorites for the first 30 minutes. They attacked and were stretching the Cambodian defense. 12 minutes gone and Kyrgyzstan go ahead with a 30 yarder long shot by defender Talant Samsaliev.The lead was doubled when Djamshidov headed the ball into the Cambodian net in the 18th minute. Kyrgyzstan were cruising and seemed to follow in the footsteps of India, i.e. to rout the Cambodians.

But the Cambodians came back in the 34th minute with midfielder Hok Sotitya to score their first goal in the tournament. Hot Sotitya was confident after the first goal and single handedly changed the game by equalizing in the 41st minute. Cambodia added another in the 43rd minute to lead the match at half time. This time it was midfielder Chin Chum adding his name to the score sheet. The second half started with the same gusto from both the sides.Just 3 minutes after the break and Kyrgyzstan equalized this time with Djamshidov scoring with an angular shot from the left.

Kyrgyzstan maintained the pressure and it finally paid off when midfielder Harchenko Vadim gave them the lead back in the 65th minute.Thereafter, Kyrgyzstan defended well and didn't give the Cambodians an iota of chance anymore.The winning Coach Nematjan Zakirov said," The conditions favoured the Cambodians as it was hot and humid."The Cambodian Coach Scott O'Donnell added that it was a learning experience for his team and promised a better play from his side.The Man of the Match was Cambodian medio Hok Sititya for his commanding influence on the game especially in the first half.

News source

18.08.2007: Syria beat Bangladesh in their first Match

Bangladesh 0 - 2 Syria (Maher Al Sayed 48', Zyad Chaabo 79')

Favorites Syria beat Bangladesh in their first match in ONGC NEHRU CUP today.

Former National coach of India Syed Nayeemuddin's Boys played a defensive 4-5-1 formation. 22nd minute of 1st half, midfielder of Bangladesh Mohd. Zahid Hossain 's attempt long shot was saved by syrian goalkeeper.In the 2nd half Syria dominated and scored in 48 minutes by their Captain Maher Al Sayed by using his left footer.

In the 79th minute, after a quick exchange of passes, striker Zyad Chaabo placed the ball to Banglash's Goal and make the final score 2-0 for Syria.

Bangladesh had no attempts on goal in 90 minutes with a full strength team. Syria won though not emphatically as they would have wanted.

Syria Team:

Mowssab Blahowss, Khaled Mansoor, Albaba, Wael Ayan, Mootasem Alaya, Maher al Sayed (capt.), , Zeen Alabeden Al Fandi,Mahmoud Al Amena, Zyad Chaabo , Ali Alrifaai,Feras Esmael, Ali Dyeb


Biplab Bhattacharjee, Kazi Nazrul Islam (Capt.), Mohd. Waly Faisal, Mohd. Zahid Hossain, Mohd.Mohd. Arifulk Islam, Rajani Kanta Barman, Firoj Mahmud Hossain ,(Zahid P. Choudhury), Mohd. Jahid Hasan Ameli and Mohd. Robin (Mohd. Alfaz Ahmed),Abul Hussain (Mehdi Hassan) Arman Aziz,

17.08.2007::Team India started off to a flyer

INDIA (N.P.Pradeep 16' Baichung Bhutia - Pen 47',Steven Dias 72',89',Sunil Chettri 82',84') 6 - 0 Combodia

Short passes, long rangers at the goal, using both the flanks to optimum effect and most important finding the net on 6 occasions

Baichung Bhutia and company came up with a strong statement in the Opening Nehru Cup encounter against Cambodia. Ranked a few places lower than India, the south-east Asian nation hardly had any answers to the attacking soccer of Bob Houghton’s boys.

25 shots at the goal----The statistics shows how much one sided the game was.

The huge win gives an impression that India will have a great chance of improving their rankings this year as the national team is slated to play a number of matches this year.

After today’s performance it seems that oppositions like Bangladesh and Kyrgyzstan might have difficulties against India

Match against Syria should be a treat to watch.

India Team:

Subrata Paul, Surkumar Singh, Deepak Mondal, Mahesh Gawli, N.S. Manju, Climax Lawrence,P.Renedy Singh (Clifford Miranda (71), Baichung Bhutia (Abhishek Yadav 71) ,Sunil Chhetri.Steven Dias, N.P.Pradeep (Mehrajuddin Wadoo 43)

Cambodia Team

: Oum Veasna (goalkeeper), Chan Dara, Thul Southeariath (Kim Chan Bonrith 62), Om Thavrak, Chan Rithy, Sam El Nasa, Teab Vathnak, Sun Sovananarith, Hok Sottiya (Keo Kosal, 56), Pok Chan Than, Tieng Tiny Report.

India will face Cambodia in the opening match of the five-nation (Besides hosts India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Syria and Kyrgyzstan)Nehru Cup International Football Tournament that starts here Aug 17 2007 at New Delhi's Ambedkar Stadium after a gap of 10 year.The last Champion was IRAQ in the year of 1997.

The total prize money of the tournament is $100,000. The champion team takes away a prize of $40,000, the runners-up receive $20,000 while the third place team will get $10,000. The winning team of every match will get $2,500.Honourable 'President of India" Pratibha Patil will be chief guest at the inauguration ceremony'.


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