India came into the Nepal game on the back of two consecutive wins this calendar year, and they stretched their 2017 winning run to three matches with yesterday’s result. The Blue Tigers haven’t lost a single international game in more than a year now, and the victory against Nepal was their seventh on the trot. This is the first time India have won seven consecutive international matches. The last 12 months have brought about good news for the Indian national team, who have risen to the top 100 of the FIFA rankings, and yesterday’s win ensured that the Blue Tigers head into their crucial AFC Asian Cup qualifier against the Kyrgyz Republic on 13th June in red-hot form.
Jeje’s clinching goal yesterday was his seventh in as many matches, marking him as one of the premier Indian strikers around. The Mohun Bagan frontman now has 18 goals in international football for India, in just 44 games. That makes the Mizo striker one of the most prolific international strikers around as his current goals-per-game ratio is better than the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Landon Donovan, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Emmanuel Adebayor.
India head coach Stephen Constantine has somewhat built a reputation in his second spell in charge of the Blue Tigers by handing debuts to players left, right and centre. The Englishman has given over 30 players their first India chance, and yesterday was no different. Young left-back Jerry Lalrinzuala became the latest to benefit from Constantine’s benevolence as he made his first appearance for India, coming on to replace Narayan Das with the final quarter of the game remaining.