Friday, 16 November, 2018


After Sunil Chhetri's plea, Mumbai stadium sold out

Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne conducts a training session with his players in Mumbai India Harambee Stars coach Sebastien Migne conducts a training session with his players in Mumbai India
Noah Ferguson | 05 June, 2018, 15:19

And icing on the cake was Chhetri's two goals in his team's 3-0 win.

In the 25th minute, Chhetri tried to take advantage of a sloppy clearance and chip the ball over retreating Kenyan goalkeeper Patrick Matasi but his effort went just over the crossbar. A golden opportunity to score on his century game had arrived. "Those in the stands shouting, and the ones at home cheering - thank you!" "Football in India needs you", he says in the video.

"Generally you want everybody to be quite but it's alright".

He had made the appeal on social media after only 2,569 fans turned up to watch the national team play last week.

In the dying moments of the game, Chhetri scored off a brilliant chip to give a ideal end to a flawless day. Chhetri is third on the list of the highest active goal-scorers in worldwide football with 59 goals to his name. Lionel Messi is just three goals ahead of him while Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with 81. "Let's fill in the stadiums and support our teams wherever and whenever they are playing". He wrote, "We promise you that if that's the kind of support we get every time we play for the country, we will give our lives on the pitch".

It all seemed to have fallen into place on Monday.

Also Read: India's Greatest Goal Scorer Touches 100: 5 Memorable Sunil Chhetri Moments!

"I said before we shouldn't be begging people to come and watch the national team".

It may not be an overnight change but perhaps the movement began in Mumbai on Monday. 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. Jeje Lalpekhlua followed Chhetri's footsteps to score a stunner right into the top corner of the goal from a hard angle.

Indian fans attend the Hero Intercontinental Cup football match between India and Kenya in Mumbai on June 4, 2018.

"Agreed, the level is not the same, not even close but with our desire and determination, we will try our best to make your time worth".

"To all of you who are fans of big European clubs and support European clubs with so much passion and sometimes you guys think that the level is not the same, so why do you waste your time?". A little bit of appreciation goes a long way when you're playing for your country. "There is no player who can replace him in that position", said Vijayan, who also admitted that he thought about coming for this match after seeing Chhetri's video.

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