India kicked off their campaign in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships on a positive note, recording an easy 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka with striker Robin Singh scoring twice in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday.
Robin found the back of the net on the 51st and 73rd minute to ensure full points for the hosts at the Trivandrum International Stadium.
Coming off a poor outing in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, the six-time champions looked a far cry from the way they had been playing in the recent past, though against tougher oppositions.
The 25-year Robin gave the hosts lead when he netted six minutes into the second half. The spadework was done by the experienced Sunil Chhetri as he cut down the left flank before playing it to an unmarked Robin, who converted with a powerful left-footed strike.
Their confidence boosted after going ahead, India doubled the lead when Chhetri’s header sent Robin through on the goal, leaving the Lankans clueless after getting past Wijesiri and and Alawadeen.
Before that, Sanju Pradhan could have scored for India when he found an unmarked Jeje Lalpekhlua just two a few yards away from goal. His header was on target, but the keeper pulled off a brilliant save to deny the home team.