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AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

Starting off on positive note feels good, asserts skipper Sunil Chhetri

Published at :June 9, 2022 at 5:04 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : Khel Now)

Ujyant Ramesh

The Blue Tigers picked up three easy points after a 2-0 win against Cambodia

Earlier tonight, the Indian national team played their first game of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers against Cambodia. Hence, they took home three vital points thanks to a Sunil Chhetri brace (14', 60'). However, it was a game that could've seen a lot more goals -- for India who had multiple corners and failed to convert a few chances from inside the final third.

Nonetheless, it ended as a win and as it stands as a result, the Blue Tigers sit at the top of the their Group (D), for now. Post the game, the Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri shared his thoughts in a short interaction. Here's what he had to say:

Reflections on the game

First up, he expressed his overall thoughts on the result. "Yes, it feels good. We kept a clean-sheet. There are a lot of things that we could've done better and I'm not trying to be harsh. It wasn't easy and it was very humid. But, of course, it was the same for both the teams.

"The tempo of the game couldn't be maintained for a long time. I'm not trying to give any excuse, but at the end of the day we kept a clean-sheet and got three points, which is very very important. I'm sure the coach will have a lot to say after watching our videos. But, all in all, starting off on a good note feels good," he stated.

Possibility of more goals

As mentioned, he was then questioned on the number of chances throughout the game and whether that could've meant more goals as well.

Replying to this, the 37-year-old said, "We should have. I'm not trying to be harsh. In international football, you don't get opportunities where you can get in your players and into spaces where you can cross and do some damage. I think we couldn't utilize as much as we should have. But, maybe I'm just being a bit old and throwing tantrums. At the end of the day, we're very happy that we got the three points."

Positives from this game

Lastly, Chhetri was asked to talk about his takeaways from the match. On this, he responded, "Clean-sheet and a lot of boys got the feel of playing 90 minutes. A lot of them hadn't played after the ISL. Few of us were in different physical conditions. It was a good test for the coach to see that some of them got a run and play 90 minutes.

"I think that's important. Also, the coach has already told us that we have three matches in about 6-7 days for which we'll need everyone of us. So, that's the positive and of course, we haven't seen the positives of how we performed. We're going to watch that for the Afghanistan and Hong Kong game to analyze and come up with a plan," thereby concluding the interaction.

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