Talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri struck twice to guide a beleaguered India to a 3-1 win over hosts Maldives of their ultimate league match and enter the ultimate of the SAFF Championships right here on Wednesday.
Chhetri scored within the 62nd and 71st minutes after Manvir Singh had given India the lead within the thirty third minute within the must-win match for India. Ali Ashfaq pulled one again for Maldives within the forty fifth minute from a spot kick.
The 37-year-old Chhetri, who was enjoying in his 124th match, is only one objective shy of Argentine maestro Lionel Messi (80), who’s the second highest worldwide objective scorer amongst lively gamers behind Portugal celebrity Cristiano Ronaldo (115).
Seven-time champions India, who completed on high of the five-team desk with eight factors, face Nepal within the ultimate on October 16.
Nepal drew 1-1 with Bangladesh within the earlier match of the day to complete second within the round-robin league with seven factors.
India had crushed Nepal 1-0 in a league stage.
With the win over Maldives, India saved themselves from crashing out of reckoning for the ultimate of the regional event, which might have been the nation’s worst end in current reminiscence.
This shall be twelfth ultimate look for India.
India dominated the match all through and Chhetri nearly gave India the lead within the twenty seventh minute however his header off a Brandon Fernandes nook hit the crossbar.
Ashfaq had a harmful shot on the Indian objective within the twenty eighth minute but it surely was blocked by a defender.
5 minutes later, Manvir fired it previous Maldives goalkeeper on the close to publish to offer India the lead.
Simply second earlier than half time, Ashfaq scored from a penalty to place Maldives again on stage phrases.
India head coach Igor Stimac introduced in nippy winger Udanta Singh within the 51st minute instead of Brandon Fernandes.
Quickly after, within the 62nd minute, India took the lead. An Apuia cross was chested down by Manvir for Chhetri to blast into the again of the Maldives web.
The Indian captain scored his second objective of the day with a looping header that crashed into the opposition web within the 71st minute.