Seasoned Sunil Chhetri stole the spotlight for the umpteenth time on Thursday when India beat Bangladesh to stay afloat in the battle for a last-16 spot in the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Playing his third Asian Games, the second as the captain, Chhetri’s low and accurate shot from a spot kick earned India three vital points.
On Sunday, the ageless wonder of Indian football could once again come to the fore when he leads the Blue Tigers against Myanmar in the concluding Group A tie – a match that will decide the second-placed team from Group A behind host China. India holds a slight advantage since a draw would be enough to receive the ticket for a quarter-final berth; Myanmar, on the other hand, needs to beat India to make the grade.
India’s last meeting against Myanmar ended in a 1-0 victory for the hosts in the Tri-Nation tournament in Imphal earlier this year, with Anirudh Thapa scoring the all-important goal. But in Hangzhou, the equation could be different since both India and Myanmar are primarily under-24 sides and several players from the Imphal meet are missing from the line-ups.
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