India were up against Kenya in the 2nd game of the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai. Having Beaten Chinese Taipei for 5-0 in their first game, India sat comfortably at the top of the table in the Intercontinental Cup. Moreover, it was a special day for the boys in blue as their Captain Sunil Chhetri played his 100th international game.
The match started under treacherous situation as it started to rain before the kickoff and the conditions weren’t suitable at all for a game of football to take place.
The first half ended 0-0 as the game was spoiled by the weather conditions. The second half did start on a good note as the weather conditions got better and India took the lead through Sunil Chhetri. Jeje helped the Indian side make it 2-0 within minutes of the 1st goal being scored and Chhetri played the role of Icing on the cake by scoring the 3rd goal for the team in the end moments to beat Kenya by 3-0.
let’s have a look at the 3 things that turned the game for India against Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup
Anirudh Thapa and Pronoy Holder in Midfield
The game started under heavy conditions and the Indian team was finding it difficult to get their feet sorted in the field. Pronoy and Anirudh though did a good job in keeping possession of the ball and not just launching long balls forward.
They did a commendable job by shielding the defence in the 1st half. Pronoy did a good job in nullifying the physical advantage that Kenya had and made sure India controlled the midfield. Thapa played a vital role of a midfielder with utmost perfection under difficult situations.
The famous Mumbai rains had a crucial role to play in the game against Kenya. It started raining cats and dogs before kick-off and the rains continued till half time creating a pool of water in various parts.
Both teams adopted a kick-about and that seemed to favour India as Kenya failed to adjust to the ground conditions and kept making mistakes.
Kenya did create 3 clear chances of one on one but their strikers failed miserably due to the ground conditions. Kenya also had a lot of unfinished passes due to the heavy ground conditions and that helped India to win the game.
Captain Chhetri to the rescue
Sunil Chhetri showed the countrymen why he is one of the greatest sportsmen ever produced by the nation. He is someone who has been playing better with age. At 33, he is having the best period of his life. The match today was really an emotional one for Sunil as he became the only 2nd Indian after Bhaichung Bhutia to have played for 100 games.
He appeared to be struggling with the ball till the halftime mark and but bounced back victoriously in the 2nd half of the game. His opening goal helped India get the upper hand over Kenya in the Intercontinental Cup. But it was his 2nd goal that actually sealed the victory in India’s favor. He now has 61 goals, just 3 short of the Argentine legend Lionel Messi.
The manner in which Chhetri finished off the game is something that will certainly be remembered by the Indian fans for the time to come.