vIndianz.com (Sept. 01, 2009) — India beat Syria 5-4 on penalties to retain the five-nation Nehru Cup football tournament at the Ambedkar stadium, New Delhi. Indian keeper Subrata Paul brought off three spot kicks in the shootout.
After 120 minutes of open play ended in a 1-1 scoreline, the substitute Renedy Singh putting India ahead from a 30-yard freekick before Ali Dyab equalised with a last-gasp header for 95th-ranked Syria.
India keeper Paul saved Hamzeh Alattouni’s second penalty of the shotoout, which went to sudden death, sealing victory.
India, the former Asian Games champions now ranked joint 156th in the world, are trying to revive their fortunes after qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar.
Apart from the $40,000 prize money, Praful Patel, president-in-charge of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) said each member of the team, including the support staff, would be given Rs 2 lakh each. Goalkeeper Subrata Paul and skipper Bhaichung Bhutia, will receive special cash awards of Rs 5 lakh each.
India captain bhaichung bhutia named player of the nehru cup. Salman Khan was named brand ambassador of the AIFF by Praful Patel.
The victory gave India a hat-trick of titles, having the last Nehru Cup crown in 2007 and AFC Cup Challenge in 2008.
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