India beat the much higher ranked Cameroon 5-4 in a thrilling penalty shootout at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday to lift the Nehru Cup for the third consecutive time.
The home crowd went into frenzy when Thierry Makon's spot kick hit the right post after India's Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Denzil Franco, Mehtab Hossain and Clifford Miranda found the net in the penalty shootout after they were tied 2-2.
It was a big win for India as Cameroon, which entered world cup quarter finals in the 1990s and regularly features in the Olympics, was fancied to lift the cup before the match started. In the FIFA ranking too, Cameroon is way ahead of India in the top 59 position whereas the latter is ranked 168.
Central defender Gourmangi Singh opened the account for India in the 19th minute by heading a Clifford Miranda free-kick into goalkeeper Ngome Lawrence's net.
Makon Thierry found an equiliser for Cameroon in the 29th minute and took the lead after Kingue Mpondo headed Thierry's pass into the net in the 54th minute.
With only a little more than 10 minutes of play remaining, the referee pointed the penalty spot after Indian captain Sunil Chhetri was brought down by Cameroon's goalkeeper. Chhetri converted it and equalised the score.
The score was 2-2 when the final whistle went off, signaling a nerve wrackling penalty shootout to determine the winner.
Cameroon looked stronger but at the end of the day it was India who held their nerves.