Intercontinental Cup 2018: Sunil Chhetri brace helps India crush Kenya

Ruben Hill
June 4, 2018

In a tweet, Indian Batsman Ajinkya Rahane has also urged fans to go out and support the national team.

A fan took things a notch higher as he invaded the pitch after the match and touched the Indian striker's feet. I mean it's not fun to criticise and abuse on the Internet.

"To all of you, who support big European clubs and support "your" European club with so much passion and sometimes you feel that 'the level is not same and why waste your time?' Agreed", Chhetri said in the video with his hands folded. You guys have no idea how important you guys are and how important your support is.

Earlier Chhetri's heartfelt appeal - backed by India's cricket heroes Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar - went viral on social media, prompting fans to shell out for tickets. I'm gonna speak, appeal and request all of you who did not come.

"Please get involved, this is an important time and juncture in Indian football and football in India needs you guys", Sunil Chettri further added. He wrote, "C'mon India..."

While Chhetri said that the level of game on offer at the Mumbai stadium might not be in the same level - "not even close" - with European leagues, it must be mentioned that the Indian men's football team has had a turn in their fortunes of late and now rank 97th.

Cricket is hugely popular in India and often overshadows other sports like football and hockey.

While the team may not be present at this year's tournament, plenty are tuning in to watch with the 2014 World Cup television audience in India growing by 46 percent to 85.7 million from the previous edition. He is both the most-capped player and all-time top goal scorer for Indian national team.

Kenya finally paid the price for the missed efforts in the second half as Chhetri earned a penalty after being brought down in the 68th minute. He then moved to (Jagatjit Cotton & Textile Football Club) JCT where he scored 21 goals in 48 games. However, that stint in the United States did not last long and soon he was back in India's I-League where he played for Chirag United and Mohun Bagan before going back overseas.

He overtook American Clint Dempsey to draw level with Spanish star David Villa on the list.

Chhetri, India's leading goal-scorer (59 goals), will play his 100 game for his country. He is just 5 goals away from touching Lionel Messi's record of 64 goals. After Monday's match against Kenya, India will face New Zealand on June 7 in Mumbai.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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