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Sunil Chhetri surpasses Lionel Messi, hands India crucial win in FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Sunil Chhetri is a legendary Indian footballer and is currently the nation's highest goal-scorer. He is leading the side in the ongoing FIFA World Cup qualifiers, where he helped India earn a vital win over Bangladesh while he toppled Lionel Messi through his brace.

Sunil Chhetri surpasses Lionel Messi, hands India crucial win in FIFA World Cup qualifiers-ayh
Doha, First Published Jun 8, 2021, 11:01 AM IST
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Current Indian football legend Sunil Chhetri helped India earn a crucial win in the ongoing FIFA World Cup qualifiers. He scored a brace as India tamed neighbours Bangladesh 2-0 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Monday.

India at World Cup qualifiers
It was India's first win in the qualifiers, having lost three and drawn three in the seven games so far. Nevertheless, the side is already out of the race for the World Cup finals.

The match
As for the game, the opening half saw nine attempts, along with three saves in the half's closing stages, with twin coming from Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. However, all of it was to no avail, as the deadlock stayed in place.

In the second half, saw both sides ante up and produce seven chances by the 72nd minute. However, six minutes later, Chhetri struck the opener with his head, six yards from the right to the centre, following an assist from Ashique Kuruniyan's cross.

It was followed by a couple of more attacks from the Indians, including a save from Bangladesh's goalkeeper Anisur Rahman in the 89th minute. However, Chhetri doubled it with his winner in the 91st minute with his right foot to the top left from the centre, thanks to Suresh Wangjam's assist, as India clinched its opening win after seven games.

Surpasses Messi
Meanwhile, the evening turned out to be unique for Chhetri, as with the twin goals, he scored his 74th international goal. As a result, he surpassed Argentine modern-day great Lionel Messi (72) to become the second-highest active international goal-scorer, with Cristiano Ronaldo (103) of Portugal being the leader. Chhetri also entered the top ten among the highest international goal-scorers of all time.

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