Captain Sunil Chhetri’s outstanding performance propelled India to a resounding 2-0 victory over Lebanon in the final of the Intercontinental Cup, securing India’s second title in the tournament’s history. The match, held on Sunday, showcased India’s dominance and marked a significant achievement for the national football team. Chhetri, who found the back of the net in the 46th minute, broke the deadlock immediately after halftime, following a goalless first half.
India’s Triumph in the Tournament
This victory marks India’s second Intercontinental Cup title, with their first triumph achieved in the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2018. North Korea claimed the title in 2019, but this year, India proved to be the strongest team. The resounding win over Lebanon cemented India’s position at the top and brought great joy to the fervent crowd supporting the team at the Kalinga Stadium.
Chhangte’s Contribution and India’s Strong Performance
Lallianzuala Chhangte, another standout performer in the final match, played a crucial role in India’s success. He not only provided the opening goal but also sealed the victory with a well-taken strike. The Indian team displayed a positive approach throughout the game, actively seeking goals and maintaining control of the match. Despite the challenging hot and humid conditions, both teams had their fair share of opportunities in the first half, but it was in the second half that everything changed.
Turning Point in the Second Half
After halftime, India took control of the game and showcased significant improvement. Chhangte’s brilliant run into the box and subsequent assist allowed Chhetri to calmly slot the ball past the Lebanese goalkeeper, opening the scoring for India. The goal was the result of exceptional teamwork, with Nikhil Poojary providing a precise pass to Chhangte, who then set it up for his captain. Bolstered by the opening goal, India continued to press forward, and Chhangte capitalized on a rebound from substitute Naorem Mahesh Singh’s shot, doubling India’s lead and securing their victory.
Coach Stimac’s Dissatisfaction and Future Preparations
Expressing his dissatisfaction with the team’s performance, India’s head coach Igor Stimac reprimanded the players during the halftime break. Despite the improvement in the second half, Stimac emphasized the need for further work to prepare the team for upcoming challenges, including facing teams like Australia in the AFC Asian Cup. The coach’s remarks highlighted his commitment to continuous improvement and the team’s desire to achieve success at the international level.
Chhetri’s Remarkable International Career
With his goal in the final, Sunil Chhetri, at 38 years old, further solidified his status as one of India’s greatest footballers. Chhetri’s tally of 87 goals in 137 appearances makes him the third-highest active goal-scorer in international football, trailing only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. His remarkable career and contributions to the Indian national team have made him an inspirational figure for aspiring footballers in the country.
This achievement in the Intercontinental Cup serves as a significant milestone for Indian football, showcasing the team’s growth and potential on the international stage. With their second title in hand, India will continue to strive for further success and make their mark in global football.
The Hindustan Herald Is Your Source For The Latest In Business, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Breaking News, And Other News. Please Follow Us On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, And LinkedIn To Receive Instantaneous Updates. Also Don’t Forget To Subscribe Our Telegram Channel @hindustanherald