India became the champions of Intercontinental Cup on Sunday as they beat Kenya 2-0 in the final at Mumbai Sporting Arena, Andheri. The twin strikes from the inform captain Sunil Chhetri and two great blocks from Gurpreet Singh took India home to win the four-nation Intercontinental Cup.
Chhetri, playing in his 102nd international match struck in the 8th and 29th minutes to hand India the trophy at fully packed, Mumbai Football Arena.
Sunil Chhetri scored a brace to become the joint second highest international goal scorer among active players along with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi with his 64th strike for the country. He is now only second to Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
Chhetri finished as the top scorer with eight goals. The final’s first goal came off a free-kick, won by Chhetri as the jittery Kenyans used all means to keep him away from the ball. Anirudh Thapa took his time as players took positions in the box. He then tapped ahead to give his captain time to step back and away from his marker and sweep home.
India’s second, 29 minutes into the first half, came off a long pass by Anas Edathodika. The Kenyan defense was caught ball-watching as the ball bounced twice only for Chhetri to dart in beating the off-side trap, control with his first touch and slot home with his left foot.
The Indian defense, which was shaky in their 1-2 loss against New Zealand, was solid today as they kept the Kenyan strikers at bay.
India fought hard for the ball, especially the skipper who chased a goal-kick by Gurpreet across the field and was denied by a timely leap and collection by the rival custodian. The home team played deep in its own half, covering up for each other to deny the speedy Kenyans space to surge forward down the flanks or through the middle.
It was a pure super-Sunday experience for the fans at the Mumbai Football Arena as they got more than its share of thrills. We hope Indian football team will keep the show going in their future football games and give Indian fans a chance to cheer.
Splendid performance from the #MenInBlue. Keep it up, @chetrisunil11 and the @IndianFootball team. You guys totally deserved this victory. Our support will always continue to be with you. #INDvKEN pic.twitter.com/JxKYVlF8Ej
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) June 10, 2018
Thank you @chetrisunil11 for giving the country so much to cherish. You were inspirational and I am sure this #IntercontinentalCup victory will help in ensuring that you guys play in a jam packed stadium . Congratulations @IndianFootball #INDvKEN pic.twitter.com/WADgZEd5rl
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) June 10, 2018
T 2833 – Congratulations Indian Football Team for winning the Hero International tournament beating Kenya 2-0 ; the defending in the 2nd hald was astounding .. pic.twitter.com/DBuUhrCo1W
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) June 10, 2018
— Congress (@INCIndia) June 11, 2018