Sunil Chhetri India Nepal
Sunil Chhetri celebrates with teammates after scoring the winner against NepalAIFF

India pulled off a come-from behind 4-1 victory over Nepal to ease into the semifinals of the SAFF Cup with a perfect record.

The hosts were in a spot of bother after just three minutes of this group game, as Nepal scored the opener via Bimal Magar.

However, India showed they were the better team, asserting their superiority in the contest, with the equaliser coming in the 26th minute through Rowlin Borges.

"At the ISL draft, I had told many to pick him up," India coach Stephen Constantine said of the India international midfielder. "But at that time he wasn't good enough. But he was good enough for me because I always believed in the quality he possesses. Maybe, now they will pick him up.

"We changed the five people that had not played together as the back four. If you go to a club team, such a combination will take some one or two years. And here we are trying to do it in five matches. The boys were a bit casual at the start and got the slap they required to wake up."

India's record goalscorer and talisman Sunil Chhetri fired home the winner in the 67th minute, before the goal of the match, and quite possibly of the tournament, was fired in by fleet-footed teenager Lallianzuala Chhangte nine minutes from time. The winger would then grab a second goal late on as well to add the gloss to his performance and the game.

"There are talents like Lallianzuala all over the country," Constantine said after the 18-year-old put on a performance to remember. "You just need to look out for them.

"It was during a tournament that Lee Johnson and myself picked him up for the U-19 national team. He was a part of the DSK Shivajians Academy, who are doing a good job.

"But when an 18-year old scores goals in a match there have been instances that they get carried away. The boy needs to keep his feet on the ground and he still has a long way to go."

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