Published: Tue, June 12, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Sunil Chhetri's heartfelt message for fans after India's Intercontinental Cup triumph

Sunil Chhetri's heartfelt message for fans after India's Intercontinental Cup triumph

"India is somewhere between a sleeping giant and a rising competitor", the Swiss said.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri led from the front once again, scoring a brace of spectacular goals to fashion India's 2-0 victory over Kenya in the final of the Intercontinental Cup at Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.

"There will definitely be two games sometime in December, before the Asian Cup". The English tactician made seven changes to the side that started against Chinese Taipei and Kenya, eager, of course, to see at least some of those new faces make the most of the opportunity.

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Myer Bevan, Andre de Jong and Moses Dyer scored goals, which always helps, while Nikko Boxall, Sam Brotherton, Tom Doyle and Adam Mitchell were solid as centre backs, and wouldn't look out of place if Schmid wants younger options in that position with an eye to the 2022 World Cup.

India defeated Kenya 3-0 in their previous encounter, with Chhetri scoring twice during the match.

Chhetri gave India the lead off a set-piece, assisted by Anirudh Thapa.

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"We are going to find these players and this is why we use these games". All three should be on new Wellington Phoenix coach Mark Rudan's call list, and signing there - or elsewhere - will help them stake their global claims. "Some did and some didn't", Constantine didn't hold back.

With India bossing the game, the only way Kenya could have made a comeback by launching a counterattack, however, their efforts to make inroads into Indian defence proved futile and only added to their desperation. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has more goals (81) than Chhetri in terms of most global goals scored by an active footballer. This itself will send a wave of football resonants across the country.

Earlier before the Sunday clash, Stars head coach Sebastian Migne had exuded confidence in Kenya beating India, despite the hosts enjoying home ground advantage. It was a reality check that showed there is still plenty of work to be done as the Blue Tigers prepare for the 2019 Asian Cup in the UAE where they can be certain their Group A opponents - UAE, Thailand and Bahrain - will all be at full strength.

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