Intercontinental Cup: India Off To Winning Start At Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium

Bhubaneswar: Two early goals were enough for India to see off Mongolia’s challenge in their opening Intercontinental Cup fixture at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday evening.

The Blue Tigers fired up the home crowd soon after kick-off as Sahal Abdul Samad found the mark in the second minute.

Anirudh Thapa delivered a low cross from the right which Mongolia goalkeeper Enkhtaivan could not hold on. Sahal, who plays for Kerala Blasters in ISL, blasted home the rebound.

India continued to press, and doubled the lead in the 14th minute.

Sandesh Jhingan’s header, off a corner, was blocked by a Mongolian defender but not fully cleared. Lallianzuala Chhangte reacted smartly and promptly inside the crowded box and bulged the netting from point-blank distance.

India remained the dominant side after change of ends and did create some more opportunities, but a third goal remained elusive. The hot and humid conditions also slowed down the pace of the game.

In the first match of the tournament, Lebanon beat Vanuatu 3-1.

India will take on Vanuatu on June 12 and Lebanon on June 15.

The top two teams will clash in the final on June 18.

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