scored the equaliser shortly before half time but a second-half collapse saw Igor Stimac’s men floored.
They had reached Hangzhou not long before their opening game, and hadn’t even gotten the chance to rest properly or take part in a training session. With many Indian Super League (ISL) clubs refusing to release their players for the Asian Games, the football team’s preparation for the event was severely affected.
In their second group game, India beat Bangladesh 1-0, courtesy of a penalty from Chhetri. The captain of the side helped his team pick up three valuable points and in their final group game, India were held to a 1-1 draw by Myanmar.
The captain, leader, and legend of the Blue Tigers was on the scoresheet yet again before Yan Kyaw Htwe equalised for his team. India thus finished ahead of Myanmar as the two sides were level on points, but Chhetri and Co. had scored more goals and thus they were awarded a second-place finish.
Talking about the pre-quarterfinal game against Saudi, Chhetri said that his side will need to be ‘cohesive’ against a side that will be expected to dominate the proceedings. The likes of Dheeraj Singh, Sandesh Jhinghan, Bryce Miranda, and Chhetri again, will be key for the Blue Tigers in their bid to reach the next round.