Sunil Chhetri as soon as once more needed to produce the products for India as they rallied across the skipper to beat Maldives 3-1 within the SAFF Championship semi-final on Wednesday. Chhetri scored a brace as 10-man India overcame a stiff problem from the defending champions and arrange Saturday’s ultimate towards Nepal.
Chhetri took his targets tally to 79 from 124 appearances in worldwide soccer to seize joint-sixth place on the all-time listing with Zambia’s Godfrey Chitalu, who additionally has the identical variety of targets from 111 matches.
India had taken the lead by Manvir Singh’s strike within the thirty third minute however the hosts hit again and equalised simply 12 minutes later after Pritam’s Kotal’s foul within the penalty field gave Maldives a penalty which Ali Ashfaq transformed within the forty fifth minute to convey the sport again on degree phrases at half time.
Chhetri had a severe crack at objective close to the hour mark, when a string of passes between Chinglensana, Lalengmawia, and Suresh ended up with the Indian skipper, whose shot went over.
Minutes later, it was Lalengmawia once more, who performed in a cross for Manvir. The lanky ahead chested the ball into the trail of Chhetri, who blasted it into the again of the web, to place India again within the lead.
Maldives instantly went on the lookout for the second equaliser of the night time, and earned a free-kick on the fringe of the Indian penalty field. Ashfaq had struck the free-kick to go over the wall and dip because it neared the objective, however Gurpreet stepped in with an outstretched arm and tipped it over the bar.
Sunil Chhetri gave India the two-goal cushion within the 71st minute, when one other aerial ball by Lalengmawia into the field was headed by the India skipper. His header looped over Mohamed Faisal and into the web.
India gaffer Igor Stimac rang within the modifications quickly sufficient, with Rahim Ali, Glan Martins, and Anirudh Thapa changing Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri, and Md Yasir, respectively. The India coach was quickly given his marching order by the referee for a second yellow card.
With a minute of harm time left on the clock, Subhasish Bose was additionally given his marching orders for a second bookable offence, earlier than the referee lastly introduced the match to an finish, as India made it to the SAFF ultimate for the twelfth time.