The ​Indian national football team have won the Hero Intercontinental Cup ​after a first half brace from captain marvel Sunil Chhetri ensured a comfortable 2-0 win for the hosts in Mumbai amid a very passionate crowd.


Chhetri ensured the decibel levels rise all over the country with two sublime strikes in the 7th and the 29th minutes, one off his right and the second off his left foot.



With his two goals, ​Chhetri is now level with Argentinian great Lionel Messi in the overall international goal tally, something which every Indian should take pride in.


The Blue Tigers went into this match with their strongest possible XI with all seven players rested for the game against New Zealand, starting the final.



The game started with both teams testing each other's defence. Kenya attempted to assert their dominance early on in the game but a swift counter in the fifth minute from India saw Jeje free on goal before the attack was called for offside.


India eventually took the lead in the seventh minute when Anirudh Thapa delivered a low free-kick which allowed Chhetri to come off the line and slot the ball past the Kenyan goalkeeper. It looked like an attempt straight out of the training ground.



That goal definitely calmed the nerves in the Indian team. Kenya, however tried to hit back instantly. A great one-two from Oginga and Ochieng looked to cause problems to India but Anirudh Thapa tracked back to break down Kenya's attack.


The Indian team looked to dominate the proceedings from then on and they were rightly rewarded in the 29th minute. It was just another long ball which seemed quite harmless as it floated off Anas Edathodika towards Chhetri.


India's captain trapped the ball on his chest and rounded up Michael Kibwage for pace before unleashing a powerful left-footed shot into the Kenyan goal. 2-0! Mumbai erupted, yet again! 



That goal meant Chhetri has now scored 64 international goals, leveling his goal tally with Messi.


Following Chhetri's magic, India depended on goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh's wonderful goalkeeping for the rest of the game. Despite Kenya's dominance in the second half, they were unable to make anything of all the openings they had as India stood firm in defence.



The Blue Tigers eventually held on to their lead and went crazy in celebrations with the crowd as they lifted the Hero Intercontinental Cup! The fan movement this tournament has brought in our country shall only grow from here onward.


In the process champions India pocketed USD 50000 while runners-up Kenya received USD 25000. Indian National Team Captain Sunil Chhetri who was declared the Player of the Tournament and pocketed USD 7500.