NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Skipper Bhaichung Bhutia scored a goal and was involved in the other on his 100th India appearance to set up a 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan in the five-nation Nehru Cup tournament on Sunday.
Holders India, needing a win to stay on course for a place in the final, took the lead close to halftime when the seasoned striker trapped a long goalkick and his angular shot bounced in off both posts.
India, who lost 1-0 to Lebanon in the opening game, scored again in the 57th minute when fellow striker Sunil Chhetri converted a penalty after Kyrgyzstan ‘keeper Pavel Matiash tripped Bhutia.
Kyrgyzstan squandered a penalty off the next move when forward Ildar Amirov, fouled trying to score, saw his kick punched away by a diving Indian ‘keeper Subrata Paul.
Mirlan Murzaev scored in the dying minutes to narrow the margin, but the second defeat dashed Kyrgyzstan’s hopes for a place in the final, after the 2-0 defeat to favourites Syria.