Intercontinental Cup 2018: Sunil Chhetri shows great gesture to physically challenged fan after India's loss against New Zealand
What's the story?
India's 2-1 loss at the hands of New Zealand may have brought the team's qualification chances for the Intercontinental Cup final under doubt, but captain Sunil Chhetri remained as gracious as ever, even in defeat, as he thanked one of the Blue Tigers' faithful by presenting his captain's armband to a disabled fan.
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India had already put themselves ahead in the race to secure a spot in the final with 5-0 and 3-0 victories over Chinese Taipei and Kenya, respectively. However, they could not sustain that momentum, as the slipped to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of New Zealand at the Andheri Sports Complex, on Thursday.
The heart of the matter
While Chhetri had put India ahead early in the second half, New Zealand made a strong comeback with goals from De Jong and Moses Dyer, to win their penultimate round-robin match.
Despite this defeat, Chhetri took some time out after the full-time whistle, to take a walk around the ground and thank the fans for turning up. It was while he was doing these rounds, that he spotted a disabled fan in the gallery.
The Blue Tigers' captain immediately went over to the fan and presented to the fan, who was seen sitting in a wheelchair.
This loss puts India in a dicey position, with regards to qualifying for the final of the Intercontinental Cup. Temporarily, New Zealand have shot into the top spot on the table, with India on the second spot. While both the teams are on six points each, the All Whites are ahead on head-to-head record.
A win for Kenya could complicate matters further, as there will be three teams on six points each, in which case, the goal difference comes into play. India currently have a +7 goal difference. However, that could very well be turned over by Kenya, if they can manage a big victory over Chinese Taipei on Friday.