37-year-old Chhetri, who played for India in his 121st game, scored just one goal in the 27th minute behind legendary Brazilian Pele (77 goals from 92 games).
India’s Udanta Singh vies for the ball against Mohammed Saad Uddin of Bangladesh in Monday’s SAFF championship game. Image courtesy of AIFF Media
Male: India allowed 10-man Bangladesh to return and score a shock goal after captain Sunil Chhetri’s 76th international drew 1-1 in the SAFF Championship opener on Monday. </ 37-year-old Chhetri, who played for India in his 121st game, scored just one goal in the 27th minute behind the legendary Brazilian Pele (77 goals from 92 games).
He is now on place four of the top scorer lists of active footballers, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (111), Lionel Messi (79) and Iraqi Ali Mabkhout (77).
India was the better team in the first half and although they often lost the ball, they seemed to be standing on their side. From the 54th minute they also had a numerical advantage after the Bangladeshi player Biswanath Ghosh was sent off for a foul on Liston Colaco.
But the team of Igor Stimac could not stop the quick counterattacks of the Bangladeshis and conceded Conceded a goal in the 74th minute to share the points, much to the horror of the Indian camp.
Bangladesh has always been a difficult opponent for India, who only equalized late in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup qualifying in Calcutta needed before they won 2-0 in the second leg.
India were in attack mode from the start but a quick counterattack from Bangladesh almost caught them and center-back Chinglensana Singh made a crucial equalizer after Ibrahim hit a flat cross from the left Whipped for Motin Mia.
Bangladesh got some corners too, but India was next with Udanta Singh, who returned after playing two Nepalese friendly matches le missed, outsmarted his marker and delivered crosses from the flank.
Manvir Singh had a weak head-in after such a cross in the 24th minute, but Chhetri wasn’t the one to miss the other three minutes later. Pritam Kotal released Udanta on the right, who blocked the ball from near the sideline and slammed a perfectly placed Chhetri into the top of the net.
Liston Colaco, who made an impressive performance, shot unsuccessfully in the 36th minute on the Bangladesh Gate. Three minutes later Chhetri had another strong left-footed shot, but goalkeeper Anisur Rahman shot a save.
India survived a shock in the 40th minute, this time also from a quick counterattack by the Bangladeshis. But goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu parried Biplo Ahmed’s shot to keep India’s lead intact.
Stimac replaced Anirudh Thapa by bringing Brandon Fernandes to the center of the park on resumption, and India got too a numerical advantage after Biswanath Ghosh in the 54th
Three minutes earlier, however, Bangladesh had a chance to equalize, but Rakib Hossain shot wide after being clear in the Indian penalty area.
Bangladesh goalkeeper Rahman parried A double save in the 61st minute when he blocked shots from Manvir and Udanta.
Stimac replaced Colaco with Lalengmawia and Udanta with Rahim Ali shortly after an hour. But the Bangladeshi, who will play under a new coach after qualifying for the World Cup in 2022, moved in the 74th despite being numerically inferior.
October 04, 2021 8:18:56 PM IST
PSG are at home in Montpellier this weekend, then it remains to be seen whether Messi returns. You will then receive Manchester City in the Champions League next Tuesday, September 28th.
The team coached by Antonio Habas, which did not have much match practice, will start the 8th season of the Indian Super League against Kerala Blasters on November 19 at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
Manisha (20th minute), Pyari Xaxa (27th), Sweety Devi (41st) and Anju Tamang (75th) scored for India in a game that was played behind closed doors at the UAE FA Stadium.
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