SAFF C’ships: India beat Maldives to reach final


India sealed their place in the final against Nepal after a 3-1 win over Maldives at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives on Wednesday.

Manveer Singh’s opener was canceled out by Ali Ashfaq in the first half, before Sunil Chhetri confirmed a berth for the Blue Tigers with a brace in the second half.

Chhetri’s two goals took him ahead of Brazilian legend Pele. He is now the combined sixth-highest goalscorer in the world, just one short of Lionel Messi’s 80 international goalscorers.

Even as his team goes through a long lean phase, Chhetri’s goal-scoring skills are as good as ever, which is a testament to his consistency and dedication.

Through his illustrious journey, the deadly hunter from Delhi has played alongside former stars like Bhaichung Bhutia and Renedy Singh in the national team as well as well-known international players in the ISL and I-League.

Despite the occasional chatter about his age and his longevity, the Indian skipper had said that he wanted to play in the top-flight and had not given any thought to his future.

India are undefeated in this edition, having first played out draws with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and then defeated Nepal. The side will now seek their eight SAFF Championship titles when they take on first-time finalists Nepal in the final.

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