"No Trouble, please" Sunil Chhetri's post-match comment on lack of preparation
India are one step closer to qualifying for the next round of the Asian Games 2023 after defeating Bangladesh.
The Indian men's football team bounced back from their defeat against China to secure a crucial victory against Bangladesh, keeping their hopes alive in the qualification battle for the next round of the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023.
After a disappointing 1-5 loss to China in their opening match, the Indian team faced numerous challenges, including a lack of rest and proper training sessions. Nevertheless, their determination and resilience shone through as they claimed a hard-fought victory.
The Indian team's journey in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023 got off to a rocky start with a heavy defeat against China. Playing without adequate rest and training had taken its toll, leaving many fans concerned about the team's prospects. However, the team, under the leadership of stalwart Sunil Chhetri, remained undeterred.
Sunil Chhetri, the captain of the Indian team, downplayed the significance of talking about preparations, "Let's not talk about preparations. After a game like this, you don't want me in trouble. Prepared or not prepared, boys here or not here, 17 players or 30, all that is behind us. We'll give all that we have in the next game. Whatever we talk about now will not affect us in the next game."
A one-goal thriller
The match against Bangladesh was a thrilling contest from start to finish. India launched several attacks early in the game, with players like Rahul KP and Abdul Rabeeh testing the Bangladeshi defense. However, Bangladesh soon found their rhythm, resulting in a closely contested battle that persisted throughout the 90 minutes. Despite India creating more clear-cut chances, Bangladesh's goalkeeper, Mitul Marma, displayed exceptional skills to deny all attacks.
In the 85th minute of the game, India's fortunes took a positive turn when Bryce Miranda was fouled inside the box by the Bangladesh captain, leading to a penalty. Sunil Chhetri, India's all-time leading goal scorer, stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the net, giving India the lead and securing all three vital points.
The game was a frustrating one, the captain says, "It was a frustrating game. We could've done well in the final third. But at the end of the day getting all three points was essential."
Several Indian players stood out with impressive performances. Lalchungnunga, Narendra Gahlot, Bryce Miranda, and Sandesh Jhingan all played crucial roles in India's victory, contributing to a well-rounded team effort.
The road ahead
With this crucial win, India has rekindled its hopes in the Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. Their next challenge awaits against Myanmar on 24 September. A victory in that match would secure India's ticket to the next round.