The Mumbai Football Arena in Andheri witnessed scintillating performance yesterday. Indian team thumped victory over Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup 2018. The hero of the match, Sunil Chhetri scored twice to beat the rivals by two goals to one. Tickets for the match were already sold out after the heartfelt appeal by Indian Skipper, Chhetri. Yesterday, it was full attendance and crowd support signifies a lot then it may seem.
A favorable start
The enthusiastic crowd had not to wait for long to give scoring cheers to the Indian team. Eight minutes into the game, Chhetri converted free kick by Anirudh Thapa, to a goal. All thanks to wonderful acumen and understanding between the two players. It was a fine blend of young energy and experienced subtlety that provided India the lead and crumbled Kenyan confidence. Adding to the woes of opponent, Chhetri netted the ball once again in 29th minute and took the lead to 2-0. This was a long range pass by Anas Edathodika which Sunil chested and guided to the destination.
The game was progressing at its pace and Indians were comfortable with a lead of two goals. After the half time the Kenyans were in action as Indian allowed the ball to be in their possession. Two long range attempts cleared off smartly by Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh, prevented any disturbance in Indian side. The determination to score goal was present but the close passing was not at par with their counterparts. Ultimately they remained with zero score and had a result bit heartbreaking.
Hurrah time for India
The fervor and enthusiasm circulating football is at unprecedented height in India. With a few days to go for the FIFA World Cup 2018, Indian Football fans surely got more than what they expected. The Hero Intercontinental Cup 2018 was a low affair but still has a significance of its own. The AFC Cup next year is the major target of Indian team. The foreign coach Stephen Constantine is taking the Indian football in right direction as is visible from the results. After his heroics in this game, Sunil Chhetri is now the joint second highest goal scorer in the international football matches. With 64 goals he equaled Lionel Messi, proving his mettle.
The coach was all praise for the captain and mentioned the importance of fitness in the game.
All in all, the tournament was a breath of fresh air for Indian Football that has probably marked beginning of new era.