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Sunil Chhetri puts himself on par with Messi as India win Intercontinental Cup

Indian Football captain Sunil Chhetri scored a brace against Kenya to lead India to the title triumph of Intercontinental Cup  at Mumbai Football Arena. Playing in his 102nd international match, Chhetri scored in the 8th and 29th minutes to become the joint second highest international goalscorer among active players along with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi. He has 64 goals by his name and has only Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of him.

India, playing in the final against Kenya, came back with their full strength after their loss against New Zealand in the last league match. The Indian defence, that lost against New Zealand by 1-2, was solid from the start till the end of the match. Holicharan Nazary and Sandesh Jhingan played outstandingly to defend the post. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the Indian goalkeeper, also had some brilliant saves.

Chhetri gave India the lead off a free-kick from Anirudh Thapa in the 8th minute of the match. He again came into action in the 29th minute when Anas Edathodika lofted the ball to him which he struck firmly by a low left-footer from inside the box.

The 33-year-old scored eight out of India’s 11 goals in the tournament. Hosts India took this tournamnet as a preparatory ground for the AFC Asian Cup, to be held in January 2019.

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