New Delhi, Goals from captain Sunil Chhetri and Lallinjuala Changte helped the Indian football team beat Lebanon 2-0 in the final of the Intercontinental Cup on Sunday. The 38-year-old Chhetri, who was going through the final stages of his career after scoring no goals in the first half of the match, scored in the 46th minute to give India the lead. This is his 87th international goal and is the third most international goal scored among active players.
Acting as an assist in this goal, Changate doubled the team’s lead in the 66th minute and shocked the team ranked 99th in the world ranking. India, which is at the 101st position in the world ranking, has won this tournament for the second time. The Indian team beat Kenya in the finals of its inaugural session in 2018 to become champions, while North Korea won the trophy in 2019 and India finished fourth, the last.
Both teams had chances to take the lead in the opening half, but failed to capitalize on it. India, meanwhile, looked to retain the ball longer, while Lebanon’s emphasis remained on the offensive. Lebanon attacked the Indian goal post 7 times, while the Indian team, who controlled the ball for 58 percent of the time, managed to attack the Lebanese goal post only three times.
After half-time, Chhangate was the first to take control of the ball near the box and pass it to Chhetri and the Indian captain made no mistake in deceiving Lebanon goalkeeper Ali Sabeh. After a one-goal lead, the Indians took advantage of the home conditions to double the lead with a try from Changte. Substitute Naorem Mahesh Singh attempted to score from Chhetri’s pass, but the Lebanon goalkeeper blocked the ball. As such, the goalkeeper could not control the ball and it escaped to Changate who smashed the ball into the goal post.SS1MS