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Goalkeeper Paul shines as India win Nehru Cup

Last updated on: August 31, 2009 23:50 IST
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Goalkeeper Subrata Paul emerged hero as India beat Syria 5-4 in sudden-death in the final to win the five-nation Nehru Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar stadium on Monday.

The teams were locked goalless at full-time and 1-1 after extra-time.

The 22-year-old Paul brought off three fine saves, including one in sudden-death, to help the hosts retain the title.

Renedy Singh put India ahead in the eighth minute of the second period of extra-time curling home a low free-kick from 35 yards, before Ali Dyab darted in from nowhere to head home the equalizer for the Syrians a minute from the final whistle.

Climax Lawrence, Sunil Chhetri, Steven Dias, Anwar Ali and Surkumar Singh were successful from the spot for India while Renedy Singh sent the goalkeeper the wrong way only to see his kick ricochet off the upright, and the Syrian keeper easily saved Mehrajuddin Wadoo's attempt.

Raja Rafe, Mosab Balhous, Abdul Fatah Alaga and Abdul Razak Al Hussain were on target for Syria while the kicks taken by Hamzeh Al Attouni, Wael Ayan and Ahmad Haj Muhammad were saved by Paul.

India earned US $40,000, while Syria will return home richer by US $20,000.

The victory gave India coach Bob Houghton a hat-trick of titles, having earlier guided the team to the last Nehru Cup crown in 2007 and AFC Cup Challenge in 2008.

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