India beat Kenya by two goals to nil to be crowned the champions of the 2018 Intercontinental Cup. The Blue Tigers were the favourites heading into the final and they did not disappoint.
The Blue Tigers went into the lead in the early stages of the match, courtesy of a brilliantly worked freekick. Captain Sunil Chhetri put the finishing touch to a training ground routine to give India the lead. He then doubled his and India’s tally, as he took a long pass from Jhingan onto his chest before slotting the ball past the keeper.
Although the Intercontinental Cup was a friendly tournament, it undoubtedly gave the Indian side some much-needed preparation for the AFC Asian Cup. Altogether, the Blue Tigers scored eleven goals in the competition while conceding just two. Captain Chhetri was the top scorer for India and overall with eight goals.
India made few mistakes in their final match, and indeed the tournament. From a compact defence to a dynamic attack, the Blue Tigers had an answer to every problem.
The Blue Tigers opened the scoring with a brilliantly worked freekick. After a dead ball situation had arisen on the right flank, the Indian players quickly went into deep discussions. Captain Chhetri was rallying the orders, with Thapa and Udanta present. It was clear from that moment, that the Blue Tigers were looking to do something out of the ordinary.
Thapa delivered the freekick, grounded, towards the penalty spot. Chhetri peeled away from his marker at the back post, ran towards the ball, and slotted it perfectly in the bottom left corner. Needless to say, wild celebrations ensued.
India’s freekick routine was clearly practised on the training ground and it yielded results. The routine also brought to the fore the coach’s shrewdness to try and beat the aerially strong Kenyan defence, via the ground.