Chhetri brace in India’s dominating victory over Guam
Skipper Sunil Chhetri found the target twice as a dominating India thrashed Guam 4-0 for their second win in as many matches in the AFC Challenge Cup Football Qualifiers, in Yangon on Monday.
Thanks to the convincing win, India, with six points, stayed very much in contention for winning a berth in next year's AFC Challenge Cup.
Chhetri found the net on the 49th and 91st minute while the other two goals were scored by Clifford Miranda (68th) and Jewel Raja (80th) at the Youth Training Centre.
The Indians were completely off colour in the first half, but came out all guns blazing after the change of ends, with Chhetri leading from the front.
After a goalless first half, Chhetri drew the first blood four minutes after resumption. He followed Lenny Rodrigues' through pass, beat the off-side trap and slotted it past the rival goalkeeper Douglas Herrick, much to the relief of the Indian dugout.
The floodgates opened after the first strike.
The second one came in the 68th minute, this time, Miranda blasting home his left-footer after being set up by Mehtab Hossain.
Jewel placed the third goal to perfection after being found unmarked inside the box by substitute CK Vineeth while Chhetri scored the fourth, heading in a Mehtab corner in the 91st minute.
The goal took Chhetri's tally of goals to 40, two short of India's all-time scorer, former captain Bhaichung Bhutia.
India had defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 in their opening match of the tournament.
‘Could have scored 10 goals’
India coach Wim Koevermans was confidence personified after their 4-0 win and said they could have scored more than 10 goals.
"We could have scored more goals but it was Guam who had the first chance of the match when one of their shots hit the post and went out.
"That was a wake-up call. After that, we took control. If you look back at the chances which we created, we could have scored more than 10 goals,” he said.