India on Wednesday confirmed their place in the final match against Nepal after 3-1 victory over Maldives at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives.
Manvir Singh’s opener was cancelled by Ali Ashfaq in the first half before Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the second half to confirm the spot for the Blue Tigers.
Sunil Chhetri broke legendary football player Pele's record during the match against the Maldives in the ongoing 2021 SAFF Championship
Pele had scored 77 goals for Brazil and Chhetri went past the Brazilian superstar when he scored a goal in the 62nd minute in the match against the Maldives.
Chhetri further bettered his tally as he scored another one to have 79 international goals under his belt. The Indian captain is now the third-highest active international goalscorer.
Lionel Messi (80) and Cristiano Ronaldo (115) are the two footballers who are ahead of Chhetri in the list of active international goalscorers. The Indian captain has also become the joint sixth-highest goalscorer in the world.
Although his team is going through a long lean phase, Chhetri's scoring prowess remains as good as ever, which is a testament to his consistency and dedication.
A Wonderful Gesture— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 13, 2021
Skipper @chetrisunil11 handed over his Man of the Match award to @apuiaralte45 for his brilliant performance today! #INDMDV #SAFFChampionship2021 #BackTheBlue #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/povTme0mZI
Throughout his glorious journey, the deadly poacher from Delhi has played alongside former stars such as Bhaichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh in the national team, besides well-known international players in the ISL and I-League.
Notwithstanding the occasional chatter around his age and his longevity, the Indian captain had said that he wanted to keep playing in top-flight and has not given his future any thought.
India is undefeated in this edition, having drawn with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and then beating Nepal. The side will now look for its eight SAFF Championship title when it takes on first-time finalist Nepal in the final.