Two goals from captain Sunil Chhetri sealed victory for India in the AFC Asian Cup against Thailand at Abu Dhabi. As India registered their first win in the Asian Cup since 1964, living legend Chhetri overtook Lionel Messi to become the second highest-scoring active international player.
After 1964, it is in 2019: India win first Asian Cup match in 55 years; Sunil Chhetri surpasses Leo Messi
Playing in his second Asian Cup and 105th match, Sunil Chhetri scored in the 27th minute of the match as he blasted into the bottom-right corner from the penalty spot. However, Thailand managed to get an equaliser in the 33rd minute as Teerasil Dangda’s header crashed into the Indian net from a free-kick. The teams went into half-time on level terms.
India started the second half in an attacking note. India regained their lead, as Chhetri scored his second of the day in the 46th minute. Next, youngster Anirudh Thapa scored the third goal getting his first India goal. Jeje Lalpekhlua finished the proceedings with the fourth goal thus giving India an emphatic 4-1win against Thailand.
Chhetri now has 67 goals, one more than Messi. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (85) is ahead of him. After the match, Chettri proudly said, “You can see the jubilation and happiness whenever someone scores. I am so happy for the boys. Every one of them ran and defended for their lives.”