India beat Portuguese 2nd div side in practice match

New Delhi: Striker Sunil Chhetri struck twice as Indian national football team scored a narrow 3-2 victory over Portuguese second division side Sertanense FC in a practice match at Santarem, around 60 kms from Lisbon.

Chhetri, who was recently released by Major League Soccer side Kansas City Wizards to join the Indian team`s training in Portugal, scored in the 14th and 22nd minutes to give his side a 2-0 lead.

The Portuguese side came back strongly and restored parity by the hour mark before N P Pradeep scored the winner in the 77th minute at the Almeirim Stadium.

Chettri opened the scoring with a neat finish in the 14th minute off a Mohammed Rafi pass and doubled India`s lead in the 22nd minute heading the ball over opponent goalkeeper`s head off a Subrata Pal free kick from the centre.

The Indians slowed down a bit after the two-goal cushion and Sertanense FC took advantage of that to pull one back in the 29th minute before restoring parity in the 59th minute.

India showed some urgency after the match was on even terms and their hard work finally paid off when Pradeep found the back of the net off Anthony Pereira`s pass in the 77th minute.