India just about managed to get a 3-2 win over Cambodia in an international friendly match on Wednesday in front of a high-capacity hostile crowd in Cambodia. The likes of Sandesh Jhingan and Sunil Chhetri of Bengaluru FC, and Mohun Bagan's Jeje Lalpekhlua, scored for the away side.
BFC midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, meanwhile, assisted two goals.
For the home side, Khuon Laboravy and Chan Vathanaka remained the goalscorers. The win for India comes just days ahead of the start of their AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers, where they take on Myanmar next Tuesday.
Stephen Constantine's side were completely overwhelmed by the home side in the first half after some high-intensity football. The Cambodia football team, coached by Leonardo Vitorino of Brazil, created chances after another, and could have taken a huge lead by the half time itself if they had taken all their chances.
The likes of Thierry Bin Chantha, Vathanaka, Soueuy Visal and Laboravy wreaked complete havoc during the match and the Indian defence as well as goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were absolutely left searching for answers. To be honest, for the away side, the only moment of glory in the first half came during the 36th minute of the match when the Bengaluru FC terrific duo Eugene and Chhetri combined.
The goal from Chhetri in an empty net was possibly the easiest international goal he ever scored in his career so far.
While there were a lot of opportunities that could have been taken by the home side, had their shooting boots were a bit more polished, a clear penalty was disallowed for Cambodia just ahead of the half time after a mistimed tackle by Indian defender Fulganco Cardozo on an opponent right inside the box.
To be honest, the defensive showing from Constantine's side was very average throughout the match. It was made to look even worse after a defensive error cost India their lead as Laboravy bagged the equalising goal in the 37th minute.
The introduction of Jeje right at the start of the second half remained a masterstroke by Constantine, as just on the 50th minute mark, he made the score 2-1 in favour of India after shooting a fantastic ball in from Jackichand Singh, inside the goal.
The momentum suddenly shifted in favour of the away side and BFC defender Jhingan seized the opportunity of not being marked by rising the highest and giving India a two-goal cushion as he headed in a corner from Eugeneson.
Cambodia just never seemed to give up, no matter what, and it was the 23-year-old attacking midfielder Vathanaka once again, who reduced the lead, after making use of yet another Indian defensive lapse to get the score 2-3 in their favour by the 62nd minute.
However, they couldn't find much time in getting the equaliser and as a result, India bagged their first win in an international football friendly since 2005. It took 12 years in the making!