India 4-1 Puerto Rico: 5 Talking Points
Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, got another reason to turn the night into another party as India beat Puerto Rico 4-1 in a friendly on Saturday night. Indian football fans were served up a treat as the national football team entertained the packed house in Mumbai with some enthralling football. The final score read 4-1 but, if the Indians were even a bit more clinical, it could and probably should have been much more.
In what will go down as one of the biggest wins for the Indians in recent history, Stephen Constantine and his boys made the country proud with their effort. The Blue Tigers not only beat an opponent that is ranked more than 30 places above them, they dominated them for the best part of 80 minutes.
After going down early in the 8th minute, the Indians came roaring back as goals from Narayan Das, Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua made it 3-1 going into the half. They pressed further forward in the second half and were rewarded with another goal from Jackichand Singh.
Here are the five biggest talking points from the game.
1) Sunil Chhetri makes his mark
The game started on the wrong note for the Indians and they were soon made to pay as a reckless challenge from Jackichand awarded the visitors a penalty in the 8th minute. Up until then, the Indians looked clueless as their midfield failed to control the game, their defence looked shaky and more importantly, failed to get Chhetri into the game.
But that didn’t last long. The talismanic Indian forward got into the game soon after India fell behind and oozed class. His touches were defining and his passes were exactly where the others wanted and when they wanted them. This game, in fact, became a showcase of his technical brilliance and footballing IQ.
His expertise dead ball situations were just the icing on the cake as he fired India into the lead with a clever free-kick. Whilst Constantine’s decision to take the captain’s armband away from the forward was certainly questionable, this game went to show how thorough a professional he is on the pitch.