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SAFF C’ship football: Sunil Chhetri on target again as India reach final with win over Maldives


Captain Sunil Chhetri was India’s hero yet again as he netted twice in the Indian men’s football team’s 3-1 victory over Maldives at the SAFF Championship in Male on Wednesday. The goals helped India qualify for the final of the competition for the eighth successive time.

Manvir Singh gave India the lead in the 33rd minute before Ali Ashfaq’a penalty cancelled it out just before half time.

But India’s superiority showed in the second half as the captain stepped to the plate to convert the two chances that fell to him and give India all three points.

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The game though for most parts was quite chaotic as both teams kept losing the ball in midfield with the chances and half-chances emerging out of loss of possession in dangerous areas.

It was none other than Chhetri who came the closest to opening the scoring when his header from a free-kick bounced off the crossbar before being cleared by the Maldives defence in the 25th minute.

India then took the lead as Manvir Singh, who was played into space inside the Maldivian box thanks to a good through ball, found the top corner with a fine finish. The goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal though was guilty of letting the ball pass…

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