Intercontinental Cup 2018 | Sportzwiki

Intercontinental Cup 2018

Kolkata: Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri being conferred "Indian Footballer Award 2018" by AIFF Senior Vice-President Subrata Dutta, former footballer Subrata Bhattacharya and Football manager Sanjoy Sen in Kolkata, on June 11, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Asian Cup teams will be a lot tougher: Chhetri

Kolkata, June 13: Not willing to read too much into their Intercontinental Cup win, India captain Sunil Chhetri on Tuesday said the 2019 AFC Asian Cup would be ‘at a different level’ with teams like UAE, Bahrain and Thailand.

“It was a great preparatory tournament for us. We don’t play teams like Kenya and New Zealand everyday. It was a different challenge. No matter how much we improve, it might still be less,” Chhetri told reporters after receiving the Indian Player of Year award at the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) Awards at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club here.

“With due respect to Kenya and New Zealand, the teams that are competing against us in the Asian Cup — like Thailand, Bahrain and UAE — they are at least two-three levels up.

“It’s a different level altogether. We all try our best to prepare well and everyone comes to the camp in December fit and injury-free,” the 33-year old added.

Chhetri urged his teammates to keep their heads down and continue working hard without getting carried away by the triumph in the four-nation meet in Mumbai.

“Where we want to reach is very far. We are just taking small steps. There is no point getting carried away. We should work hard keeping our heads down and try to keep improving ourselves,” the Indian captain said.

Chhetri, who netted eight goals in four matches, also played his milestone 100th match in India colours.

He also became joint second highest International goal scorer among active players along with Argentine superstar Lionel Messi with his 64th strike.

Chhetri however said his best strike is yet to come and he’s hoping that it comes in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup from January 5-February 1 in the UAE.

“I can’t think of my favourite goal right now. Hopefully when I score in the Asian Cup that will be my favourite goal. But Mahesh Gawli and Anwar Ali were two of my favourite defenders I played against or with,” Chhetri said.

“I’m really really happy that I scored that many goals for my country. I am more proud that I’ve played 100 games for my country. That is huge for me and my family,” he opined.

India had a forgettable outing in the 2011 Asian Cup, going down to Australia (0-4), Bahrain (2-5) and South Korea (1-4) and later failed to qualify in the 2015 edition of Asia’s showpiece event.

“We tried our best. We had the man of the tournament in Subrata Pal, who was outstanding. But let me tell you we don’t play Australia, UAE and Japan everyday. It’s not easy to play against them,” Chhetri said.

“Just go there and try to improve. I think we are a better team now. I will make sure that we are a better team when it comes in December,” he added.

“How do we know how far are we, because South Korea, Iran, Australia, Saudi Arabia are playing the World Cup. How do we know how far are we if we are not going to play against them? It’s small steps. Slowly steadily we will reach there. We cannot just go there and jump,” said Chhetri who scored 20 goals in the Indian Super League (ISL) and Super Cup.

Meanwhile ISL runners-up and Super Cup champions Bengaluru FC dominated the FPAI awards.

Bengaluru coach Albert Roca was adjudged the Best Coach, while Nicolas Fedor Flores (Miku) was chosen the Best Foreign Player, the award of which was received by Chhetri.

Jamshedpur FC’s Jerry Mawihmingthanga got the Best Young Player of the Year, while Neorca FC’s Subhas Singh took the Fans Player of the Year.

The awards ceremony also felicitated I-League champions Minerva FC, former India captain Subrata Bhattacharya, goalkeeper Henry Menezes and I-League winning coach Sanjoy Sen.

Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri was left fuming after a fan threw the flag at him for an autograph.

Watch: Sunil Chhetri’s Brilliant Reaction after Fan Throws Indian Flag on Him for Autograph

India’s inspirational football captain, Sunil Chhetri cannot stop winning hearts.

The 33-year old has been all over the news for the past one week for all the right reasons. Wherever Sunil goes, the fans are turning up in huge numbers to back him and his team.

It all started after his heartfelt plea following the Intercontinental Cup-opener against Chinese Taipei. Chhetri had scored a hat-trick to fire India to a massive 5-0 win.

However, the game was attended by a mere 2,500 fans. Disappointed with the lack of support, Chhetri had taken to Twitter and made an emotional plea to Indians for supporting the national football.

The video garnered huge attention from fans, media and celebrities alike. And the fans responded brilliantly. They flocked to the stadiums in the following games and the Indian team also responded in style.

On Sunday, the Blue Tigers beat Kenya by 2-0 to win the tournament. Chhetri once again starred, scoring both the goals to cap off the tournament in a dream style.

The brace helped Chhetri take his goal- tally to 64. It also helped him join Argentina star Lionel Messi as the second highest international goal-scorer among active players.

Meanwhile, the players and the fans celebrated the triumph over Kenya in style. But after the game, an incident happened that made Chhetri furious. When the skipper was walking back towards the dressing room, one fan threw an Indian flag towards him for an autograph. Disgusted with the behaviour, Chhetri was quick to react, asking the fans not to do it.

Here is a clip of that incident:


India thrash Kenya to lift Intercontinental Cup

Mumbai, June 11: Skipper Sunil Chhetri continued his superb form, striking a brace as India thrashed Kenya 2-0 to clinch the Intercontinental Cup at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Sunday.

Chhetri, who scored in the eighth and 29th minutes to hand India a convincing victory, also equalled Argentina’s Lionel Messi’s tally of 64 international goals, making him the joint-second active international goalscorer behind Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (81 goals).

With the stadium jam-packed with Indian fans, the hosts started on an aggressive note as they penetrated the Kenyan defense twice in the first minute.

The hosts took an early lead when a free kick from Anirudh Thapa was flicked perfectly by skipper Sunil Chhetri into the net.

After conceding the goal, Kenya regrouped and started to counter-attack. Jockins Atudo, who scored twice in the last match, was not too effective on Sunday thanks to some brilliant marking by the Indian defenders.

Unpetrubed by the Kenyan pressing, India continued playing offensively and as a result Chhetri scored with a superb finish just before the half hour mark to double India’s lead.

Defender Anas Edathodika lofted a long ball and Chhetri beat the offside trap to chest-trap the ball before slamming an accurate left-footer low into the far corner.

The desperate Kenyans kept on creating attacks at regular intervals but were let tried down by poor finishing.

Bernard Oginga, who enjoyed a lot of ball possession, struggled to beat the Indian defenders and also received a yellow card for his efforts.

Kenya started the second half on an attacking note as Otieno Ochieng almost netted the first goal for Kenya with a viciously curling long ranger. But Indian goalkepper Gurpreet Sandhu pulled off an excellent diving save to keep out the brilliant effort.

In the 60th minute, Kenya was unfortunate to miss another chance as another long range effort from Ochieng failed to beat Gurpreet, who used both his fists to punch the ball out.

The visitors were once again was on the verge of opening their account in the 71st minute but Dennis Odhiambo failed to get past Sandhu.

There was no stopping for Sandhu tonight as the keeper saved yet again six-minutes later off Ochieng’s strike.

The final few minutes saw India desperately defend their citadel and making a string of substitutions.


Red-Hot Sunil Chhetri Fires India To Intercontinental Cup Glory

If the start to the tournament was spectacular for India when the Blue Tigers rode on Sunil Chhetri’s stunning hat-trick to thrash Chinese Taipei 5-0, then the finish has been even better. The script wore a similar look to the first game as India’s captain fantastic once again led the show, scoring a first-half brace to make his team the Intercontinental Cup champions.

The game had a lively start with both the teams getting chances early on. The deadlock was finally broken in the eighth minute when Anirudh Thapa delivered a low horizontal ball from a free-kick and Chhetri came back off the line to slot the ball in first time. It was just the start India needed to calm down the nerves in the finale. In the very next minute, India made yet another attack but there was no one to receive Chhetri’s cross.

Kenya soon started to find their feet in the game as they desperately looked for the equaliser.  In the fourteenth minute, Omoto played a looping ball for Mutamba in the box but Gurkeerat Singh Sandhu came out and grabbed the ball cleanly. Few minutes later, Oginga and Ochieng played a great one-two but Thapa tracked back to avoid the players spraying a cross.  Kenya’s failure to play well in the final third was hurting them as they were constantly failing to trouble the Indian back line.

And the African country soon paid the price for not capitalising on the chances. Just before the half-hour mark, Chhetri doubled India’s lead. Anas lofted a long ball and Chhetri, between Atudo and Kibwage, beat the offside trap, controlled the ball with a brilliant first touch and found the back of the net with a brilliant left-footer. Kenya tried to force their way back in but India held on to go into the break with a 2-0 lead.

Kenya started the second half with utmost emergency. Just a minute into the half and Ochieng hit one from distance, forcing Gurpreet to make a glittering diving save. The rebound is too hit but it went over the bar. Few minutes later, Ochieng provided a low cross from the right for Makwata but Kotal did really well to avert the danger. At the hour mark, Ochieng hit another long-ranger but Gurkeerat was once again alert to keep the ball out of the net. The story remained pretty much the same for the rest of the game.

Kenya tried their best but the Indians defended as if their lives were at stake to hold on to the 2-goal lead and seal the trophy.




Kenya thrash Chinese Taipei to enter Intercontinental Cup final

Mumbai, June9: Kenya thrashed Chinese Taipei 4-0 in the last group stage match at the Mumbai Football Arena here on Friday to qualify for the final of the Intercontinental Cup.

In order to qualify for the final, Kenya at least had to win this game with the margin of three goals and D. Odhiambo (52nd minute), J. Atudo (54th minute penalty, 89th) and T. Otieno (69th minute) made sure their team reaches the summit clash.

Kenya, who qualified for the final due to their superior goal difference and head-to-head record against New Zealand, will now face hosts India in the summit clash on Sunday.

Chinese Taipei started on a good note, trying to pass the ball around and Kenya, on the other hand, were forcing them wide towards the corner.

Several times in the first half, Chinese Taipei tried to put pressure on Kenya from the right flank but a strong defence from the Kenyan players denied any chances.

Changing their strategy, Kenya started counter attacking, playing with long balls and their opponents looked clueless in the final third for few minutes.

The last 10 minutes saw fierce attacking by Chinese Taipei. They created many chances in front of the goal, playing by keeping the ball on ground, but could not finish properly and as a result, both teams remained goalless.

The second half saw much more action as in the 50th minute, Chinese Taipei came close to score from the right flank but Chen slammed the pass from Wang straight to the keeper.

Just after that, Kenya regrouped and slammed two goals within a span of two minutes.

In the 52nd minute, D. Odhiambo scored through an assist from Ovella Ochieng. Ochieng delivered a corner into the centre of the box where an unmarked Odhiambo converted a beautiful goal.

After two minutes, Joackins Atudo scored through a penalty corner to make it 2-0 after a goalkeeping blunder. Yu Hung Chiu hit a goal-kick straight to the path of Otieno, who passed to Mutamba into the box. The striker took a touch to take the ball away from the onrushing goalie who crashed the forward down to gift his opponent a penalty.

Just after the twin goals, Kenya induced more energy to the field by playing aggressive game.

Needing one more goal to qualify for the final, Kenya stepped up to the occasion and slammed their third. In the 69th minute, Chinese Taipei’s goalkeeper once again did the blunder. Super sub Otieno chased a routine pass towards the goalkeeper and the latter made a complete mess out of it. The goalie missed the ball and Otieno slotted the ball home.

Trying to reduce the goal margin, a desperate Chinese Taipei started attacking. In the 81st minute, they got a chance as Chang Lun Lin played a wonderful lobbed through ball into the centre of the box where Ching Hsyan Chen tried to head but it went wide.

The regular efforts from Chinese Taipei players to score saw their defence opening up and Kenya’s Atudo scored his second goal of the match. After his initial effort was saved by the goalkeeper off a free kick from Omwenga, Atudo converted the rebound to close the issue.

Sunil Chhetri India
Sunil Chhetri has pleaded to the Indian fans to come and support the country. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Sunil Chhetri Appeals to all Indian Fans to Come Watch their Team Play in the Intercontinental Cup

The Indian team steamrolled over Chinese Taipei by a massive 5-0 win in the Intercontinental Cup 2018 opener in Mumbai.

India captain, Sunil Chhetri stamped his authority with a memorable hat-trick, going on to show the men in blue are a force to reckon with in the competition.

India lock-horns against Kenya next on June 4 at the same ground where they annihilated Chinese Taipei. But before that, in an emotional video, Chhetri appealed to the masses in the country to come and watch them play.

Sportzwiki, Daily Round up, Bengaluru FC, ISL
Chhetri- captain of Bengaluru FC. Photo Credit: Web.

Also Read: 2018 FIFA World Cup: Didier Deschamps Hits Out At France Crowd For Whistling Paul Pogba.

India is a country full of ardent cricket supporters. More often than not the game of football is eclipsed by the glitz and glamour of the game of cricket.

The country is obsessed with the likes of MS Dhonis, and the Virat Kohlis. But, if we normalise the contribution of Sunil Chhetri to Indian football, it may be at par with the cricketing superstars.

To all of you who are fans of big European clubs and support European clubs with so much passion and sometimes you guys think that the level is not the same, so why do you waste your time?” asked Chhetri.

Sunil Chhetri Appeals to all Indian Fans to Come Watch their Team Play in the Intercontinental Cup 1
Sunil Chhetri.

Also Read: France look convincing in win over Italy.

Agreed, the level is not the same, not even close but with our desire and determination, we will try our best to make your time worth,” claimed Chhetri during the video.

“I mean it’s not fun to criticise and abuse on the internet. Come to the stadium, do it on our face, scream at us, shout at us, abuse us, who knows one day we might change you guys, you might start cheering for us. You guys have no idea how important you guys are and how important your support is,” the skipper appealed.

Here’s the video

This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen.

Gepostet von Sunil Chhetri am Samstag, 2. Juni 2018