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.
India Vs Kenya FOOTBALL FINAL... @chetrisunil11 u asked and we are Here to Sing shout and support our Indian Team.. 2 goals scored .. many more to come ... electric here in the Mumbai football arena stadium #INDvKEN #IntercontinentalCup #JaiHind pic.twitter.com/8seWDQ7Q75— Nikhil Siddhartha (@actor_Nikhil) June 10, 2018
That goal definitely calmed the nerves in the Indian team. Kenya, however tried to hit back instantly. A great one-two from
Legend #SunilChhetri is now 2nd Highest International Active Goal Scorer with #LionelMessi just after #CristianoRonaldo.— Neerag Heda (@theneerag_heda) June 10, 2018
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (81)
2. Sunil Chhetri & Lionel Messi (64)
3. David Villa (59)#IndianFootball#INDvKEN#WeAreIndia#BackTheBlue#AsianDream#JaiHind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/3skGnrJigy
Following Chhetri's magic, India depended on goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh's wonderful goalkeeping for the rest of the game. D
What a wonderful day for @IndianFootball team and the fans across nation. India defeated Kenya 2-0 to lift the #IntercontinentalCup. Captain @ChetriSunil11 led from front brilliantly again. Well done team👏. India 🇮🇳 is Proud of you all. #INDvKEN pic.twitter.com/iyjfV7n9bh— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) June 10, 2018
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.