News ID: 237011
Published: 0310 GMT January 07, 2019

India’s Chhetri focused on UAE game, not records

India’s Chhetri focused on UAE game, not records
India’s captain Sunil Chhetri celebrates a goal during his team’s 4-1 victory over Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup at Al Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the UAE, on January 6, 2019.

Sunil Chhetri has been quick to play down the significant statistics surrounding India’s impressive 4-1 win over Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 on Sunday, insisting instead that his sole focus is on what lies ahead for the South Asians.

On what proved to be a momentous night for head coach Stephen Constantine’s charges, Chhetri netted either side of the break as – along with goals from Anirudh Thapa and Jeje Lalpekhlua – India recorded its first win at the Finals of an AFC Asian Cup since beating Hong Kong at the 1964 tournament, reported.

His brace also took the JSW Bengaluru star’s tally for India to 67 – two ahead of Lionel Messi on 65 and 18 behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the list of the top three international goalscorers still currently representing their countries.

However, with an intriguing tie against host nation the UAE to come on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, Chhetri admitted he remains fully focused on India’s next game – and nothing else.

“I’m not thinking about all the records we have made with this result, I am just focusing on the next match against UAE which will be a very tough game,” declared the talented 34-year-old.

“I don’t take the [personal] record too seriously, there’s no comparison between me and Messi and Ronaldo. But of course, I’m very honored and I don’t take it for granted every time I score for my country. Every time I get an opportunity, I do my best to score for my country.

“We now want to recover well, make sure no one is injured and then give a good account of ourselves in the game against the UAE.

“We’re looking forward to it, although we know it will be a tough game as the UAE, Thailand and Bahrain are all top sides who are very technical with the ball,” he added.


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