India played out 1-1 draw against young Nepal in the first friendly match played at Dasharath stadium on Thursday.
Anjan Bista had put Nepal ahead but Aniruddh Thapa leveled the score for Indians in the second half.
Coach Abdullah Almutairi started the game with a rookie debutant Ayush Ghalan in the field. It was a cautious start from Nepal but they gained their confidence slowly and kept Indians under pressure in the first half.
Thanks to a mistake from Indian defender and confusion with his goalkeeper, advancing Anjan Bista controlled the ball and placed it into the net in 36th minute to send sizable COVID vaccinated spectators to the roof.
But the storyline was different in the second half.
Indians played much better and kept Nepal under pressure. Sunil Chhetri had his shot blocked by goalie Kiran but Aniruddh Thapa leveled the score in a goal mouth melee in 60th minute.
Nepal will now play the second friendly match on September 5.
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