The Indian football team beat lower-ranked Mongolia by 2-0 quick goals in the first half and began their Intercontinental Cup 2023 football tournament at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, on Friday, June 9.
Sahal Abdul Samad in the second minute and Lallianzuala Chhangte in the 15th minute scored in the first half of the game. According to the FIFA Ranking, India ranked 101, and Mongolia placed 183rd. The match was the Indian team’s first-ever match in a competitive tournament in Odisha.
India scored the first goal within 2 minutes through Sahal. Mongolian goalkeeper Mönkh-Erdene Enkhtaivan managed to get a hand to it in an attempt to parry it away from a sprinting Sunil Chhetri. After 15 minutes, Lalianjuala Changte scored a goal. The Blue Tigers scored 2-0 against Mongolia in 15 minutes. The Indian defence was up to the task and thwarted any attempts by the Mongolian team. The first half ended with India holding a 2-0 lead.
In the second half, Mongolia showed more attacking intent in order to find their goal but failed to break the Indian defence until the end of the match.
There was hardly any buzz at the stadium; many seats were empty, but before the game started, some spectators and some schoolchildren turned up to cheer for the Blue Tigers’ team. Also, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was present during India’s opener.
India beat Mongolia 2-0 in the opener on a confident note and became the winner for the second time. Earlier in 2018, India overpowered Kenya with a 2-0 scoreline and won the first title in Mumbai.
The Indian Football Team will play against 164th-ranked Vanuatu on Monday.