Tri-nation international football: Jhingan, Chhetri goals give India 2-0 win over Kyrgyzstan

Jhingan and Chhetri scored for India to give it a win over Kyrgyzstan to claim the Tri-National international football tournament trophy.

Published : Mar 28, 2023 19:56 IST , IMPHAL - 2 MINS READ

India in action against Kyrgyzstan in the Tri-National international football tournament.
India in action against Kyrgyzstan in the Tri-National international football tournament. | Photo Credit: Twitter @IndianFootball

India in action against Kyrgyzstan in the Tri-National international football tournament. | Photo Credit: Twitter @IndianFootball

India stuck to its attack plans well to outplay Kyrgyzstan by two goals without a reply and to lift the Tri-nation International Football competition title in style, much to the glee of a packed Khuman Lampak Stadium here on Tuesday.

India, which beat Myanmar 1-0 in the first match on March 22, collected the full quota of points after the win against Kyrgyzstan to be the deserving champion. Sandesh Jhingan opened the scoring late in the first half before Sunil Chhetri converted a penalty towards the end of the second half to complete India’s win.

With the visitor needing a win to survive, pressing hard for an early lead, the Indian defence remained remarkably composed to hold the opposition well outside the striking zone.

The host made six changes to the side that started against Myanmar and brought in more experience in the defence, with the likes of Jhingan, Anwar Ali and Pritam Kotal taking guard at the back.

India got the game gradually after seeing off the initial barrage of the Kyrgyz attacks. India’s first chance came in the 19th minute when it won a free-kick outside the Kyrgyz box. Brandon Fernandes kept his free-kick attempt on target, but the alertness of Totkotaev Erzhan under the bar saved the visitor from suffering an early damage.

With the Indians reactivating the flank attacks with more purpose in the second quarter, it earned another free-kick outside the Kyrgyz box in the 34th minute. Instead of sending his attempt directly on the goal, Bradon Fernandes cleverly set the ball deep into the Kyrgyz box. Jhingan judged it well and outran his marker in Kozubaev Tamirlan to volley home past Erzhan.

The lead put India psychologically on top of the Kyrgyz, who struggled to trouble the Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu even for once in the opening half. The change of ends saw the Kyrgyz resume their search for the equaliser. Sandhu made two good saves in the early minutes of the second half to keep the Indian lead intact.

India started growing into the match midway through the second half and started plotting sharp counter-attacks that opened the Kyrgyz defence more than once. But the second goal remained off limits as Anirudh Thapa and substitute Naorem Mahesh Singh failed to find the target on their turns.

The insurance goal finally came in the 84th minute, after Mahesh was tripped by Zhyrgalbek Kairat inside his own box. Chhetri made no mistakes from the resultant penalty and scored his 85th international goal from the spot.

The result
India 2 (Jhingan 34, Chhetri 84-pen) beat Kyrgyzstan 0
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