The Indian football team won the Intercontinental Cup in the final against Kenya at the Mumbai Football Arena on Sunday.
As hosts this year, the Indian football team garnered a lot of love and affection from the India fans. The Indian football team captain, Sunil Chhetri, lead India to victory in a triumphant match by scoring a brace.
The captain scored a brace equal to Lionel Messi’s International Goals Tally, which is 64, to rank as the second highest goal scorer in International football among the active players.
The 33-year-old scored in the eighth and the 29th minute to get equal with Messi. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo leads the active players' scoring tally with 81 goals from 150 matches. Chhetri, with 102 appearances for India, and Messi, in 124 internationals, are currently joint 21st in the all-time list of goal scorers.
In terms of number of goals per match, Chhetri is better than Messi, arguably the best player in the world currently. Chhetri has scored 0.62 goals per match as against 0.52 of Messi (64 goals from 124 matches). The Indian has also a better goal average than Cristiano (0.54 per match).
India had blanked Kenya 3-0 in their previous encounter during the tournament and the final match was seen as an opportunity for Kenya to seek revenge for their humiliating loss in the league stage. Although they tried to maintain a good pressure in the second half of the match, owing to India’s lead and team’s joint effort along with full support from the audience, the host country dominated and won in style.
Multiple celebrities and sports persons took to Twitter to express their admiration towards the team.