Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri equals Messi's goals record

Indian footballer Sunil Chhetri equals Messi's goals record

Inspirational Indian captain Sunil Chhetri gave India an edge in the eighth minute and then equalized Messi by scoring another goal in the 29th minute.

The tournament was being used by hosts as a preparatory ground, ahead of the AFC Asian Cup scheduled for January next year. The top two teams, along with four best third-placed teams will advance to the round of 16.

DEFENDERS: Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Salam Ranjan Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Lalruatthara, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Subhasish Bose.

India also boast of an array of decent midfielders like Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Pranay Halder and Halicharan Narzary.

Kenya were resilient as they tried to fight back in the second half and came really close to scoring from a free kick in the 76 minute, only to be denied by goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu yet again. Rafique, Halicharan Narzary, Laldanmawia Ralte.

FORWARDS: Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Balwant Singh, Alen Deory. In the second clash against Kenya, which was his 100th worldwide game, Chettri, the showman put another fine display scoring a brace as India downed their final opponents 3-0.

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At the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday, Stephen Constantine's men, unfortunately, bore a greater resemblance to the former when the two sides clashed in their final group fixture which saw the All Whites come from behind to snatch a thoroughly deserved 2-1 win.

The 33-year-old Chhetri's double strike capped a brilliant tournament which saw him score eight out of India's 11 goals and put him on par with Argentine superstar Messi with 64 strikes for the country to be the joint second highest worldwide goal scorer among active players. In the first two minutes of the match, Sarpreet Singh (NZ) made three crosses which nearly opened the defence of team India.

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This win comes at a very crucial time for India as an emotional Sunil Chhetri had urged fans to come to the stadiums to support the national team. That's where you will find the biggest takeaway from the All Whites' Indian tour, which ended at three games, after Kenya pipped them to a place in the Intercontinental Cup final on goal difference.

In the Intercontinental Cup tie, India were clear favourites as they had the home advantage.

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