Analysis: The Outcome of Nehru Cup 2012
Tuesday, September 04, 2012 Report by Amartya Dasgupta
The Blue Tigers made a mark in international football by successfully defending the Nehru Cup for three times in a row. Millions of Football lovers all over India witnessed this tremendous feat Live. India started their 5 match campaign with an impressive win over another powerful Middle East footballing nation, Syria. Co-incidentally, Syria was the runner up for the past two consecutive Nehru Cup finals. The next hurdle for India was Maldives. The hosts comfortably won the match, with Maldives being completely overshadowed by the mighty Indians in all aspects. The match with Nepal was next in line. It was a rain affected match where Nepal successfully held India in a 0-0 stalemate.
Then came the big event, India Vs Cameroon. But, even before the starting whistles blown both India and Cameroon were through to the finals as Maldives lost by a huge margin to the African Lions. The match saw both the team fielding their reserve bench and tried to gauge the potential of each other. The result was 1-0 in favor of Cameroon. But the story was quiet different on the final day. A 30 thousand odd crowd in Delhi saw the Blue Tigers going for each and every tackle and scoring the first goal of the match from a set piece, cleanly headed by Gourmangi Singh. The tempo of the match was sky high and in the regulation time the score stood evenly poised at 2-2. There was no change in the score even in the extra time. Now, it was the time for the nerve tickling tie-breakers. All the five Indian players held their nerves and successfully converted from the spot, eventually a miss by Makon Thierry of Cameroon was enough to put India’s name in History. It was the first time ever India has defeated Cameroon a nation 109 ranks above. The final score was in favor of India 2(5) – 2(4).
Now, lets’ discuss about the outcomes of this historic win:
1. Definitely the coach: India is in safe hands. The determination and confidence was instilled successfully into the team by the Dutchman. Players believe they can beat any team now.
2. The short passing game: The successful teams in the World follow this brand of football. Now India is fast adapting to this style of football.
3. The performances of Bengal players. Nabi, Mehtab, Sanju, Robin, Raju, Gurvinder, Jewel, Gourmangi and Subrata Paul, all of them has shown what they are capable of doing. Robin, Sanju and Mehtab was ignored for a long time. Now India knows without Mehtab Hussain there can’t be any mid field formation, without Sanju and Robin the wings would be clipped off. All the players had left a positive mark in this international tournament.
4. Hopefully, end of the Goan Lobby: In recent past we have seen people like Colaco and Medeira remained skeptic in giving chance to players outside Goa. The Indian fans witnessed a lot of undue favoritism to players from Goa. For a long time bulk of the Indian team was filled up with a lot of unskilled Goan players which led talented players like Mehtab, Sanju, Raju, Robin and many others to sit out. Now the team is a mixture of talented players from all parts of the country.
5. The attitude. The positive mentality the team has got was lacking for a long time. This is indeed a huge gain for the Indian Football. Also defeating a nation like Cameroon will catapult the confidence of the entire team to a much higher level.
Points to Worry:
1. The role of AIFF: Our Football officials have always set a marvelous example of how not to handle a situation. Let’s not get into those details, but the immediate need for this team is to play atleast 10 international friendly matches every year from now on. This is the only way we can go up in the rankings. Now, the million dollar question is, are the officials seriously thinking about arranging regular friendly matches with higher ranked nations? God knows. Because as per the sources from various media, AIFF is more keen on launching a “new league” some kind of IPL in football. Till date the I-League is also not scheduled by our worthy officials of AIFF. We as fans of Indian football can only hope that this team, this talent and potential should not be wasted by the AIFF.
All said and done, we are also thankful to AIFF for roping in the likes of Rob Baan, Wim Kovermans and Arthur Papas. Today’s success is much due to these decisions. Hope the federation bosses take up more such initiatives to take India’s Football forward.
The EBRP team was there cheering for the Indian National team from the very first day of the practice sessions at Bangalore. Today, we are extremely proud of our National Teams’ boys and congratulate them for this Historic Feat. The Blue Tiger roars!!
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