He scored again in India’s match against Nepal, the first when the hosts beat their neighbors 2-0 in a group stage match. Afterwards, Indian assistant coach Mahesh Gauli took the field and talked about Chhetri’s hard work and his willingness to give his all for his national team. Gauli said: We want him to rest, but he doesn’t want to rest.
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Chhetri may be becoming one of the oldest players still playing at this level in world soccer, but with that comes an abundance of experience and leadership, qualities that make him as important to Igor Stimac’s team as his immense qualities as a striker.
Chhetri’s strike against Nepal was his 91st goal for India, bringing him closer to the 100 goal mark. He also surpassed Malaysian Mokhtar Dahari and now ranks fourth among all international goal scorers and third on the list of active players, behind only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, a company that no player would refuse to keep.
Chhetri’s consistency and availability are all admirable components of his game, as is his ability to be there when India needs him to score. The national team is currently 12 games unbeaten in all competitions, showing great form under Stimak as preparations begin for the AFC Asian Cup early next year.
All eyes are now on winning the SAFF Championship trophy, which Chhetri has won 4 times already, but will be eager to do it again. India’s two wins in the group stage are enough to qualify for the next round, as they are in first place with 6 points along with Kuwait, whom they will play on Tuesday in a duel for the right to top the group when advancing to the semifinals.