​The Indian football team cantered to a 5-0 win over Chinese Taipei in the opening encounter of the Intercontinental Cup thanks to captain Sunil Chhetri's exquisite hat-trick. 


Apart from the skipper, Udanta Singh scored his first ever goal in national colours and Pronay Halder capped his return from injury with a fantastic long-range curler to complete the scoreline. 


The game saw the Indians dominate from start to finish as they put on an exhibition of quick, one-touch, passing football against opponents who were no match for them. 


The Blue Tigers' captain opened the scoring in the 14th minute after putting a couple of efforts wide in the early stages, as he latched onto a smart slide rule pass from Jeje Lalpekhlua and separated himself from the defender, before finishing into the bottom corner. 


In the 32nd minute, some wonderful one-touch play saw Anirudh Thapa lay the ball off to Jeje, whose smart pass found Chhetri on the right side of the box. He took a touch before sliding the ball in between the goalkeeper's legs to double the lead.


Just after that, he was put through again but his attempted chip was saved very well by the Chinese Taipei goalkeeper. 


The second half started with a bang as Udanta was put through on the right and he cut back inside, bamboozling his defender to finish smoothly with his left foot, to register his first goal for India. 


On the hour mark, captain fantastic registered his hat-trick, latching on to a lovely through ball from Thapa, pausing to let his defender go out of position, before shooting into the roof of the net to score India's fourth. 



That goal put Chhetri level with David Villa on the all-time list of active international goalscorers with 59 goals. The only players ahead of him now are Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. 


The fifth and final goal was scored by Halder, who launched a curling, dipping shot from outside the box that gave the goalkeeper no chance and rounded off the scoreline. 




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