India suffer 0-5 defeat against Zambia

India suffered a heavy 0-5 defeat in an international friendly at the hands of visiting Zambia at the Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa this afternoon. For Zambia, Musaknya Bruce Bwala scored a hattrick while Mulilo Jimmy Chisenga and Sitali Joseph Mushumba scored the other goals.

Zambia, who had beaten a Goa XI 4-1 on Saturday, was the better side on the day, but they only scored a goal in the first session with Mulilo Jimmy Chisenga giving the Africans a 15th minute lead, which they took into the break.

If one thought that India could come back into the match and maybe cause an upset, then they were in for a rude shock as Zambia would hit four more past goalkeeper Karanjit Singh. First Sitali Joseph Mushumba would make it two-nil in the 55th minute before Musakanya Bruce Bwalya would score a clean hattrick with goals in the 69th, 73rd and 90th minute.

India had to play Zambia without the strike duo of Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua, both of whom are away for trials with Scottish giants Glasgow Rangers. The duo would be rejoining the squad in Delhi on December 1. It gave the other strikers a chance to prove themselves, but they couldn't score on the day.

It wasn't the result with which India would like to go into the SAFF Cup, but a good test to see where the team currently stands. This was India's last friendly ahead of the SAFF Cup which starts on Friday in New Delhi with India playing Afghanistan in their opening match on Saturday afternoon. In two earlier friendlies India had drawn Malaysia 1-1 in Guwahati on November 13, while winning 3-2 in Kolkata on November 16.

1-Karanjit Singh; 16-Samir Naik, 19-Gouramangi Moirangthem Singh, 14-Mahesh Gawli, 9-Syed Rahim Nabi; 23-Steven Benedic Dias [C] (46' 26-Francis Fernandes), 25-Jewel Raja Sheikh, 7-Baldeep Singh (46' 8-Climax Lawrence), 15-Clifford Miranda; 18-Sushil Kumar Singh (80' 12-Anthony Pereira), 6-Baljit Singh Sahni (46' ??-Joaquim Abranches)

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