Intercontinental Cup 2018 Final: Sunil Chhetri helps India beat Kenya 2-0

Intercontinental Cup 2018 Final Sunil Chhetri helps India beat Kenya 2-0

Mumbai: Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri ultimately made it by winning with a 2-0 over Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 final clash on Sunday.

It was his 102nd international match, and Chhetri struck in the eighth minute first, then in 29th minute to hand the trophy to dominant Indian team.

Chhetri’s double strike capped a nice tournament which saw him score eight goals, out of his teams total 11. That put him equal with Argentine superstar Messi who has 64 strikes for the country to be the joint second highest international goal scorer.

Earlier, Chhetri had scored three against Chinese Taipei, and two against Kenya in the league game. He was also able to score one against New Zealand.

Chhetri lead the country’s team, assisted by his confidante Anirudh Thapa. On the other side, Kenyan defender Bernard Oginga gave away a free-kick to India which Chhetri made a better use of. Thapa took the free-kick almost a few steps outside the box and Chhetri connected the ball into the left of the net.

Chhetri initiated his career in football at Mohun Bagan in 2002. Later, he shifted to JCT where he could prove himself. He scored 21 goals in 48 games. He even got into the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in the year 2010. Chhetri was then known as the third player from the subcontinent to go abroad.

However, he could not do worthwhile in the United States and ultimately he was back in India. Here, he played I-League for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back abroad. Now, he was offered a place by Sporting Clube de Portugal of the Primeira Liga.

The Indian captain had doubled the lead in Kenya thrashing just before the half-hour mark. Though Chhetri had a chance to make it 3-0 and score another hat-trick but could not.

The better player for India in the second half was Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who did a clean sheet with some of his diving tactics.

Observers point out that there were ample chances for Kenya, but could not able to convert them. Moreover, at every time, when Kenya was in a better position, Gurpreet proved a tough hindrance.

In the beginning, the defence, which was shaky in India’s 1-2 loss against New Zealand, got solid in this match as they kept the Kenyan strikers away. Holicharan Nazary and Sandesh Jhingan performed their best.

India face defeat against NZ in final league match of Intercontinental Cup

India face defeat against NZ in final league match of Intercontinental Cup

Though Indian Football Team’s head coach Stephen Constantine devised a better strategy in the match against New Zealand did not help. He made seven changes in his starting eleven but that did not lead to the desired result as India ultimately faced a defeat at the hands of its rival NZ team. It was final league match of the Intercontinental Cup football tournament in Mumbai.

Though India has faced the defeat, it is still one foot in the final which is to be played on June 10 since the team has six points from two earlier wins. The India team had trashed Chinese Taipei with 5-0 and Kenya by 3-0.

Earlier, in the match, the local team maintained its lead. Its captain Sunil Chhetri had rallied his team but New Zealand rallied through goals from Andre Earnest De Jong and Moses Dyer as the Indian counterpart looked shaky in the latter half of the match in front of a jam-packed stadia.

Chhetri was playing his 101st match today. The match was his 62nd international goal, as with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Sweden and Ronaldo of Brazil.

Tomorrow, if Kenya emerges victorious over Chinese Taipei, it will be a difficult calculation to decide who will be there in the final.

In that circumstances, all the three top teams, i.e. India, Kenya and Chinese Taipei, will be considered over their six points each. Then, head-to-head results could be considered, considering the goal difference too.

Under this strategy, India has a goal difference of plus 7, whereas due to plus 1 of New Zealand, it stands a big chance to make it to the final.

So, New Zealand which is overall a top team and knows how to keep defence under intense pressure stands better chances. Even then, it failed to gauge the Indian net and both teams went to the breather without scoring any goal. In later half, Indian captain Chhetri managed to score in the most unusual way giving his side a lead to the country.

In another moment, New Zealand custodian Woud prompted him forward but his poor clearance hit Chhetri’s foot which converted into a goal. Nevertheless, Indian team ‘s happiness and hopes were shattered soon.

Its important player Sarpreet Singh managed to pass the ball through to De Jong, who gave a fine touch, sending that ball into the right corner of the net and thus converted into a goal.

After the handsome wins in the initial two matches of the series, the Indian coach has made up as many as seven changes in his starting line-up though he made five substitutions later on.

Under the new arrangement, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has made way for Amrinder Singh as a goalkeeper. The New Zealand team too showed its nice line of action and Sarpreet Singh drooped it from a high but Amrinder parried it away. The second chance for them was in the 13th minute when Justin Gulley could cross the ball at an unusual angle.

The moment for New Zealand team came in the first half in the 35th minute when Ingham floated a corner, headed by Myer Bevan, but Amrinder managed to keep it at a distance.

Just before the halftime came for better chances for India. Chhetri had made his way into the middle to give the ball to fellow player Ashique, but it just did not help the team.

Virat Kohli’s Message For captain Sunil Chhetri, Football Team After Mumbai Win

Virat Kohli's Message For captain Sunil Chhetri, Football Team After Mumbai Win

Indian football team has found an ardent supporter in Virat Kohli. From being the co-owner of Goa in the Super League matches to posting encouraging messages for the team, he is omnipresent for them. Virat Kohli, in this way, has remained quite vocal in his support.

Kohli has also sounded Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri’s rallying call to fans. He too wants the football loving people to throng the pavilion to see the matches there. Chhetri’s message and support from stars like Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar have boosted the morale of the team with India vs Kenya match in Mumbai’s all ticket sold out. Following India’s comfortable 3-0 win over Kenya, Kohli took to Twitter and posted a message for the Indian football team and captain Chhetri.

It is to be recalled that the last two years have been wonderful for Indian Football team and in recent victory again they have shown that they are good at playing. “Its a great 3-nil victory over Kenya. Well done champ @chetrisunil11″ wrote Kohli to the captain.

Chhetri had already scored a hat-trick in team’s first match of the Intercontinental Cup against Chinese Taipei. He has completed his 100th global appearance in the team’s clash against Kenya at the Mumbai Stadium.

For the Indian team’s skipper, those were his 60th and 61st goals for the BT team, which has made him the top Indian goal-scorer by a good margin. B Bhutia is next in the row with 40 goals out of 104 appearances. This list also includes eight goals in Fifa matches, making Chhetri the first Indian to complete a ton of official team’s appearances in Fifa-sanctioned matches.

The country’s national football team represents India in international football. It is governed by the All India Football Federation. The team also participates in the events at South Asian Football Federation. The team was once considered one of the best teams in Asia, during the 1950s. The country had won gold during the 1951 and 1962 Asian Games while finishing fourth in the 1956 Summer Olympics.

India has not participated in the World Cup, although the team did qualify for the World Cup once after all the other nations in their qualification group withdrew. Despite, India withdrew from the tournament. The team has also appeared thrice in the AFC Asian Cup. They have got the honour to won the tournament six times since it began in the year 1993.

Despite India’s so-so performance, the team has seen a steady improvement since the beginning of the 21st century.

India vs Kenya tickets sold out: Thanks to Sunil Chhetri’s Emotional appeal

India vs Kenya tickets sold out,Thanks to Sunil Chhetri's Emotional appeal

In a surprising turn of events, all the tickets for the Football game in India for Intercontinental Cup against the team from Kenya were completely sold out. This sudden change of fan following from cricket to football happened after the star player Sunil Chhetri appealed to his followers and fans on Saturday to watch team India play against the international opponents at the stadium.

Supporting his plea, Virat Kohli also backed him up asking fans to support the game and the player by watching the game live at the stadium itself. Apart from Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Indian batsman, followed the suit and encouraged fans to get going and watch our national team play at the field.

Aaditya Thackeray, Association president of Mumbai District Football poured out his happiness by tweeting that he is glad that following the heartfelt appeal by Sunil Chhetri, a lot of fans turned up to experience the game and back the men in blue. However, this is just the beginning of scaling football as a more favorable game in the eyes of the Indian audience. He also asked the fans to make sure each football game in future always turns up houseful. The players pour out their heart for our sake and the least we can do for them is turn up in massive number and show some support.

The emotional appeal by Chhetri came after he won the match against Chinese Taipei during the opening game of the tournament where the Indian team managed a slamming hat trick with 5-0 score. Post his winning match, the player gathered immense support from top cricketers of India which included the current captain of Indian cricket team Virat Kohli along with the legendary player Sachin Tendulkar.

Sunil Chhetri ranks as the leading scorer of the country. He flaunts 59 goals bagged from 99 international level games for Football. He currently stands at the third position among the leading scorers all around the world. After the completion of the game, Chhetri posted a video on Twitter thanking his fans for coming to the Mumbai stadium in such a large number and supporting him in his game.

The video concluded with a message to all those viewers who did not turn up for the match. The player requested them to visit at least once and give them a chance to show their potential and make them understand how interesting the game is.