Chhetri’s India win 8th SAFF Championship title, captain equals Messi in 3-0 drubbing of Nepal | Football News – Times of India

MALE (Maldives): Talisman Sunil Chhetri equalled the enduring Lionel Messi along with his eightieth worldwide strike as an impressed India blanked Nepal 3-0 for his or her eighth SAFF Championship title right here on Saturday.
India prolonged their domination in the regional event because of second half targets from Chhetri (forty ninth minute), Suresh Singh (fiftieth) and Sahal Abdul Samad (ninetieth).
With his strike, the 37-yr-outdated Chhetri equalled Messi and have become the second highest purpose-scorer in worldwide soccer amongst lively gamers.
Suresh Singh and Saha then added to the tally and paved the way in which for India’s title triumph, a a lot-wanted one after a collection of mediocre outings.

Sahal made it 3-0 when he dribbled previous a number of defenders after receiving the ball on the left flank on the stroke of the ultimate whistle.
India dominated possession in the primary-half however failed to interrupt the impasse. However, Chhetri put India forward minutes into the second half and even earlier than Nepal might cool down, Suresh made it 2-0.
This is the Indian soccer workforce’s first title triumph below head coach Igor Stimac, who confronted criticism in latest instances for his facet’s lack of ability to win sufficient video games.
However, when it mattered essentially the most in this version of the regional event, Stimac’s gamers delivered the outcomes the workforce’s followers had been ready for.

Stimac additionally turned the third international coach after Jiri Pesek (1993) and Stephen Constantine (2015) to clinch the title with the Indian workforce.
Chhetri gave India the lead after he charged in to neatly head in a supply from Pritam Kotal on the proper flank, leaving the Nepalese goalkeeper with no likelihood to come back to his workforce’s rescue.
Barely a minute after Chhetri’s opener, one other assault by India caught Nepal fully off-guard as Suresh discovered the again of the web after Yasir Mohammad brilliantly reduce it again for the midfielder.
Their tails up after two fast strikes, India pressed arduous for extra however couldn’t add to the tally for some time earlier than Sahal discovered the again of the web along with his solo effort.

Before Sahal’s strike, there was an opportunity for Manvir Singh in the 52nd minute after he was performed by means of, however his left-footed effort was blocked.
In the 79th minute, there was an important likelihood for Udanta Singh as he was in the clear to take a crack at purpose however Rohit Chand got here up with a high-quality block to disclaim the Indian winger.
It remained goalless on the break as each India and Nepal couldn’t capitalise on the possibilities that got here their means.
India might have gone forward minutes earlier than the half-time however the ball that was delivered from the proper flank for Chhetri was not met with correctly because the Indian captain’s effort went huge.
However, India greater than made up for that with their second-half show, a lot to Stimac’s delight.
India entered the sport with the psychological benefit over the Himalayan nation as historic or latest statistics cleared favoured Stimac’s facet to carry the title but once more.
Having endured a topsy-turvy begin to their marketing campaign, India ended it in model in opposition to the primary-time finalists.
The ultimate was the twelfth for India in 13 editions, exhibiting the domination of the Blue Tigers in this regional event.

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