India settled for a 1-1 draw against Nepal in their friendly match played in Kathmandu, on Thursday evening. Anjan Bista scored for the hosts in the 36th minute by virtue of a mishap between an Indian defender and the goalkeeper, while Anirudh Thapa restored parity at the stroke of the hour mark.
The Indian football team started as outright favourites to grab top-honours in the first of the two friendly matches against Nepal at the Dasharath Stadium, in Kathmandu. However, the lack of intent in the first half had put Sunil Chhetri and Co in a spot of bother.
A mishap between centre-back Chinglensana Singh and custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu allowed Anjan Bista to capitalize and eventually give Nepal the lead in the 36th minute. The Blue Tigers changed gears in the second half and created quite a few opportunities in the process. A shot from Sunil Chhetri, which was beaming towards the target, was put away by Nepal’s Kiran Limbu but the rebound was slotted home by Anirudh Thapa to level the scoreline.
In spite of repeated efforts from the visitors, India was unable to strike the winner, with a few half-chances from Manveer Singh and Rahim Ali summing up the lackluster display from Igor Stimac’s brigade. India will against their neighbours in the second friendly match at the same venue on Sunday evening.