India down Gouveia Select 2-0 in its first friendly match

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New Delhi, Jul 6 (UNI) As India coach Bob Houghton looks to silence his critics, his wards began their training-cum-exposure tour of Portugal on a bright note defeating Gouveia Select 2-0 in a friendly affair at the mountain city of Gouveia.

For India, Climax Lawrence scored in the 31st minute of the first half, while Tarif Ahmed found the net once again in the 85th minute.

India were off to a brilliant start last night as the play-maker Climax Lawrence made some great opportunities for his forwards, but finally did the job himself in the first half.

In the second half, striker Sunil Chhetri's 42nd minute goal could have easily increased the victory margin but he was ruled off-side by the referee.

Goalkeeper Subrata Pal showed great commitment as he made some good saves to defy the rivals from scoring any goal.

India were suddenly facing a tougher opposition in the second half as Gouveia regrouped themselves and were looking for a scoring opportunity.

Tarif Ahmed, however, put paid to their chances and in 85th minute increased the goal difference.

Defender Mahesh Gawli, also emerged as a good performer on the day as he kept Gouveia's star striker Joao Pereira quiet for most part of the first half.

Later in the evening, the Indian team was invited for a dinner from the Mayor of the in the presence of the Indian Ambassador to Portugal.

India's next match is now on Wednesday and with the last friendly match on Sunday, its 12-day long tour will come to an end.

UNI RAR RN1447

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