India vs Jordan: 5 times India did badly in the absence of Sunil Chhetri
- The team has not won a competitive game in recent times without Chhetri
After their creditable show against China last month, the Indian national football team is all set for their new venture when they take Jordan in an International Friendly on Saturday. The match will be played at the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman from 10.30 PM IST.
This is going to be a historic fixture as India have never played Jordan before. As a result, the Arabian opponents will be completely unknown to them. India are ranked 97th in the latest FIFA rankings while Jordan are 15 places behind.
As rankings seldom tell the truth, the task will be harder for the Men in Blue this time. Not only an unknown opponent, but India will have to play without their talisman Sunil Chhetri, who will miss the game because of an ankle injury that he sustained in Bengaluru FC's ISL game against Kerala Blasters.
Chhetri has not missed games for his country in recent times. But whenever he was not there in the team, his absence was felt poorly. We have picked out five matches where Chhetri had not played and as the record goes, India lost four of them and drew one.
It needs to be seen how players like Balwant Singh, Sumeet Passi or Manvir Singh cover up the star striker’s absence this time.
#5 Iran vs India (World Cup Qualifiers, March 24, 2016)
Result: Iran 4-0 India
This was the first of the two matches which Chhetri missed owing to an injury. During an I-League (Bengaluru are two-time winners of this tournament before joining Indian Super League) game, Chhetri sustained a groin injury. As a result, Stephen Constantine had to name a 22-member squad without the prolific forward.
“The injury is such that it requires him to take necessary care and that requires him to stay back in India and get treated,” India coach Stephen Constantine explained back then.
“I was sitting at my room trying to recall as to when I last missed a national team match for injury. It's so disappointing. It's such an important match for us and I still can't believe that I would be missing it,” Chhetri was quoted as saying after the squad was announced. “The coach had a chat with Gigy sir (team physio Gigy George) and decided to leave me out of the squad to enable me time to get treated and get ready for the next game”, Chhetri added.
Without their main players, India failed to find their foot in the game and lost by 0-4 margin in their away game at Tehran. Haji Safi scored twice from the spot while Sardar Azmoun and Alireza Jahanbakhsh also got on the score-sheet for Iran.