Intercontinental Cup 2018: 5 players other than Sunil Chhetri who have excelled for India
The Indian football team led by the charismatic Sunil Chhetri has enjoyed a sailing start to the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2018. The Blue Tigers registered a successful 5-0 drubbing against opponents Chinese Taipei in the opener to cap off the tournament in style. Stephen Constantine’s men then followed it up with another sublime victory, defeating African rivals Kenya 3-0 to top the points table with six points from two games.
Skipper Sunil Chhetri hogged the limelight in both the fixtures. The 33-year-old grabbed a hattrick against Chinese Taipei and then added two more two his name in his 100th appearance for the national side. In the process, the talismanic striker notched up his 61st international goal, putting him just 3 goals behind top scorer Lionel Messi, who has 64 goals for Argentina. And, with India set to face the Kiwis in their last group stage fixture on Thursday, Chhetri will be aiming to level the record.
Although the tournament has been all about the Indian captain, the performance of the rest of the team as a unit can’t go unnoticed. The players have shown great character on the pitch, with the defenders especially combining well to help keep a clean sheet in both the matches. The midfield has been exceptionally dynamic, changing the focus of attack subtly as and when required.
Cumulatively, it has been a strong performance and will give the team a major boost in their preparations for the AFC Cup, set to be held next year in Doha.
In this article, we take a look at five such players apart from the skipper, whose contribution has been incredibly imperative to the team in the ongoing Intercontinental Cup.
#1 Sandesh Jhingan
The Kerala Blasters' defender formed a solid partnership at the back with Anas and has looked a formidable force thus far. The centre-back was tactically very sound against Taipei, denying them any opening in the final third.
Jhingan enjoyed a marvellous game against Kenya as well and was presented with the hero of the match award. He made sure the Kenyan forwards had no breathing space with his expert marking.