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AFC Asian Cup

What do stats say about Sunil Chhetri's performance at AFC Asian Cup 2023?

Published at :February 13, 2024 at 8:33 PM
Modified at :February 13, 2024 at 8:33 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Atawaris Warsi


Should Sunil Chhetri hang his boots? Or should he keep going.

India‘s AFC Asian Cup 2023 journey ended on a subdued note, notably marked by the unexpected struggle of their star player, Sunil Chhetri. Despite being the linchpin of the team’s attack, Chhetri faced difficulties making a substantial impact on the tournament. The seasoned striker, renowned for his goal-scoring prowess, surprisingly found himself thwarted by opposing defences, contributing to India’s inability to find the net throughout the competition.

Contrary to the disappointment expressed by some fans, a closer examination of Chhetri’s performance in all three matches of the AFC Asian Cup reveals a more nuanced story. Khel Now delves into the statistics, providing a comprehensive analysis of Chhetri’s contributions on the field. This scrutiny aims to offer a balanced perspective on the talisman’s efforts, considering factors beyond the surface-level goal tally and acknowledging the complexities of team dynamics in international football.

Sunil Chhetri vs Australia 

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots On Target – 0

Shots Off Target – 1

Accurate Passes – 63%

Key Passes – 1

Possession Lost – 4

The statistics reveal Sunil Chhetri’s seemingly lacklustre performance against the Socceroos, but a deeper analysis suggests otherwise. The limited service from players like Suresh Singh, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Manvir Singh, who had zero key passes, impacted Chhetri’s scoring probabilities. 

Coach Igor Stimac’s defensive emphasis against Australia, given their rankings, further restricted offensive opportunities. The only notable chance, a Chhetri header, was off target. In light of these factors, it appears that Chhetri exerted considerable effort, but the scarcity of quality services hindered his goal-scoring effectiveness.

Sunil Chhetri vs Uzbekistan 

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots On Target – 1

Shots Off Target – 2

Accurate Passes – 60%

Key Passes – 1

Possession Lost – 9

Despite conceding early against Uzbekistan due to defensive lapses, India showed promise with chances created. Sunil Chhetri’s impactful press in the 23rd minute and a set-piece delivery in the 29th showcased his influence. Opportunities, including Chhetri’s header in added time and an attempt from Rahul KP’s rebound, demonstrated offensive intent. 

On the downside, Chhetri’s defending, possibly affected by age, appeared lacking in positioning and movement. Overall, while defensive concerns persist, Chhetri’s offensive contributions highlighted his enduring significance in creating goal-scoring opportunities for India.

Sunil Chhetri vs Syria

Goals – 0

Assists – 0

Shots On Target – 0

Shots Off Target – 2

Accurate Passes – 76%

Key Passes – 2

Possession Lost – 8

India’s attacking struggles were evident against Syria, with Sunil Chhetri registering two off-target shots, though not clear-cut chances. Chhetri’s performance appeared below par, particularly in the second half, where he seemed a bit off in connecting with the midfield. Defensively, he lacked significant tracking and exhibited slower movements, possibly impacting the team’s overall defensive structure. 

Despite having iconic striker Sunil Chhetri spearheading the attack, the team struggled to find the back of the net. The tournament showcased the challenges faced by India, with Chhetri, a seasoned talisman, unable to inspire the team to success. With questions looming about his retirement, fans ponder whether after such an embarrassing AFC Asian Cup campaign, will Sunil Chhetri hang his boots after all?

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