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2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri becomes first Indian international to score a goal in three different decades

Scoring goals and setting records for the Indian national team is something that is not new to skipper Sunil Chhetri.

The Indian skipper, on Monday, surpassed UAE’s Ali Mabkhout and Argentine superstar Lionel Messi to become the second highest active international goalscorer (74) by scoring a brace in India’s 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers tie against Bangladesh in Doha, Qatar.

Scoring goals and setting records for the Indian national team is something that is not new to skipper Sunil Chhetri.

 

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The Indian skipper, on Monday, surpassed UAE’s Ali Mabkhout and Argentine superstar Lionel Messi to become the second highest active international goalscorer (74) by scoring a brace in India’s 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifiers tie against Bangladesh in Doha, Qatar.

But reclaiming the second position on the highest international goalscorers list is not the only record he scripted on Monday. With his brace against the Bangla Tigers, Chhetri is now the only Indian player to score a goal in three different decades.

Sunil Chhetri’s first-ever international goal came against Cambodia on August 17, 2007, in the Nehru Cup which was held at the Ambedkar stadium in New Delhi. The talismanic forward scored a brace as the Blue Tigers thrashed Cambodia 6-0.

Thereafter, he went on to score 72 more goals in the next 14 years donning the Indian jersey. His first goal in the previous decade came on 8 October 2010 in a friendly against Vietnam at the Balewadi stadium in Pune. He scored a hat-trick as India won 3-1.

Before the goals against Bangladesh on Monday, Chhetri’s last international goal came against Oman in India’s first 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Games joint qualifier which was held in Guwahati on 5 September 2019. Chhetri had handed India the lead in the first half, but Oman came back in the second half and scored two goals to win the tie. The goal against the Bangla Tigers came exactly after 641 days since his goal against Oman.

India started their World Cup qualification run with a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oman at home, followed by a historic goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha. In their third and fourth matches, the Blue Tigers managed 1-1 draws against both Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Oman away from home. How are India doing in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers?

They resumed their campaign losing 0-1 Qatar on June 3 and have now beaten Bangladesh 2-0 in their seventh match of the group stage. In their final match, the Blue Tigers take on Afghanistan on June 15. All the matches of India’s group are hosted by Qatar.

But reclaiming the second position on the highest international goalscorers list is not the only record he scripted on Monday. With his brace against the Bangla Tigers, Chhetri is now the only Indian player to score a goal in three different decades.

Sunil Chhetri’s first-ever international goal came against Cambodia on August 17, 2007, in the Nehru Cup which was held at the Ambedkar stadium in New Delhi. The talismanic forward scored a brace as the Blue Tigers thrashed Cambodia 6-0.

Thereafter, he went on to score 72 more goals in the next 14 years donning the Indian jersey. His first goal in the previous decade came on 8 October 2010 in a friendly against Vietnam at the Balewadi stadium in Pune. He scored a hat-trick as India won 3-1.

Before the goals against Bangladesh on Monday, Chhetri’s last international goal came against Oman in India’s first 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Games joint qualifier which was held in Guwahati on 5 September 2019. Chhetri had handed India the lead in the first half, but Oman came back in the second half and scored two goals to win the tie. The goal against the Bangla Tigers came exactly after 641 days since his goal against Oman.

India started their World Cup qualification run with a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oman at home, followed by a historic goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha. In their third and fourth matches, the Blue Tigers managed 1-1 draws against both Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Oman away from home. How are India doing in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers?

They resumed their campaign losing 0-1 Qatar on June 3 and have now beaten Bangladesh 2-0 in their seventh match of the group stage. In their final match, the Blue Tigers take on Afghanistan on June 15. All the matches of India’s group are hosted by Qatar.

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