Three points against Kyrgyzstan were paramount in our quest to qualify for Asian Cup: Sunil Chhetri

Sunil Chhetri reiterated the fact that India's dream to qualify for the Asian Cup is alive and kicking and from hereon the team simply cannot afford to show any sings of complacency.

Written by Rahul Sadhu | Updated: June 16, 2017 1:59 pm
Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri scored the winner against the Kyrgyz Republic at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

After securing a brilliant win against Kyrgyzstan in the Asian Cup qualifier, Indian football team’s talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri has reiterated the fact that India’s dream to qualify for the Asian Cup is alive and kicking and from hereon the team simply cannot afford to show any sings of complacency. Sunil Chhetri, who was also man of the match, said that the three points against Kyrgyzstan were paramount in India’s quest to qualify for Asian Cup.

Speaking to the indianexpress.com, Chhetri said,”I am happy with the win but I won’t use the word satisfied. However, this was a very important victory in the context of India qualifying for the Asia Cup of 2019. Before the qualifiers began, we (Indian team) spoke about the three home games and its importance. We simply did not think of dropping points and now that we have started well and getting those three points was paramount in our quest to qualify for the Asian Cup.”

India’s win over Kyrgyzstan came as a courtesy of the 69th minute goal by the Indian skipper. In a brilliant run from the mid-field Chhetri dribbled past the defence and then slotted the ball into the net from a wonderful pass by teammate Jeje Lalpekhlua. His remarkable finish drew a lot of applause from fans across the globe. Recalling the moment he said,”I beat the first guy and I could have fallen down. But I told my myself don’t fall. I beat the second guy and again I stayed on my feet and kept going. When I passed to Jeje I knew he had the potential of giving a good pass and he did so and then it went in. I don’t like going down and I believe that if you have a chance just keep playing.”

When asked if the Asian dream is still alive, Chhetri responded by saying, “I don’t know why people are saying Asian Cup qualifier is ‘still’ alive. Before this game we had three points so I don’t think the word still ought to be used. Before we started it was alive, it was alive when we won the first game and it is alive now as well.

However, the Indian captain did add a word of caution, “We cannot be complacent at all. A lot depends on what we do next. It is important that we do not get carried away and keep our focus. We can’t be dwelling upon what we did in the last match. The win is a good sign, we did well, worked very hard but now that game is gone. It is time to look forward towards the next game.”

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