India beats Syria to win its first Nehru Cup

In a shocking upset, India beat Syria 1-0 to win the Nehru Cup, a football tournament that was revived this year after a long hiatus.

The final with Syria was always going to be a difficult match for India and I don’t think most people expected us to win. India had lost to Syria in the group stages. And, this is the first time that India has appeared in the final of the Nehru Cup, in 13 tries.

So credit to the team for pulling off an improbable victory. To put the win in perspective, Syria is approximately 40 places higher than India in the FIFA world rankings.

Novi Kapadia, a football journalist, was on NDTV praising the quick passing of the Indian team and the other changes Houghton made, most notably including the club coaches in his plans and pushing forward the notion of a team. Clearly Bob Houghton, the English coach deserves a lot of credit and I hope that he’ll continue to move Indian football forward.

But that’s in the future; for now, let’s just enjoy the victory. (CNN-IBN has an interview with the Indian captain Baichung Bhutia here.)

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