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Thiruvananthapuram: India wrapped up top spot in Group A at the 2015/16 SAFF Championship on Sunday after cruising to a 4-1 win over Nepal at the Trivandrum International Stadium.

Despite the hosts entering the clash as heavy favourites, especially following Friday’s 2-0 triumph over Sri Lanka, it was Nepal who drew first blood after just three minutes when Bimal Magar was left with a simple finish after being left unmarked inside the area.

Nonetheless, India equalised in the 26th minute when Rowlin Borges found the back of the net with an emphatic drive, before talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri put them in front seven minutes after the hour mark with a close-range finish.

The Blue Tigers always looked in control of proceedings and had a couple of decent chances to edge further ahead, but against the run of play, the Nepalese nearly levelled the scores in the 74th minute but for a brilliant save by Subrata Pal to deny Anil Gurung.

And nine minutes from time, the contest was effectively over when Lallianzuala Chhangte grabbed the hosts’ third with a stunning effort, before the 18-year-old starlet struck again in injury-time to complete an emphatic win for the hosts.

The result means India progress as Group A winners and will meet the runners-up of Group B – either Maldives or Afghanistan – in the semi-finals on Thursday.

The winners of Group B will meet Sri Lanka, who ultimately did enough in their 1-0 win over Nepal to finish second in Group A, in the other last-four clash.

Photo: Lagardère Sports

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