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Are Indian Football Players Too Reliant on Sunil Chhetri to Score?

Are Indian Football Players Too Reliant on Sunil Chhetri to Score?

Yesterday, on Monday, India and Bangladesh drew 1-1 in the opener for the SAFF Championship 2021. And after the final whistle, the entire Bangladeshi contingent was celebrating the draw with India like it was a victory. However, they can hardly be blamed for their over-indulgence. Meanwhile, as India’s Blue Tigers head coach Igor Stimac himself pointed out, in football today, India’s shortcomings in a match they should’ve won, we’re asking – are Indian football players too reliant on Sunil Chhetri to score?

After all Bangla Tigers, a 189th-ranked team, even after going down to 10-men in the 54th minute, came back eventually.

Bangladesh went from a goal down to drawing with India, who are 82 places above them in the FIFA rankings.

However, India were in control in the first half, as Igor Stimac praised their first 75 minutes as good football.

And it was Sunil Chhetri who opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a superb one-touch finish. This was after Udanta Singh cut back to him from the byline.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh’s bad luck compounded with a red card to Bishwanath Ghosh in the 54th minute.

He had to immediately leave the pitch for pulling down Liston Colaco, who was through on goal.

And this lack of a player should have allowed India to kill the game, but that was not the case.

Bangladesh never gave up and India never capitalized on their lead and player advantage. The result was that Bangla Tigers won back an equalizer goal through Yeasin Arafat in the 74th minute.

So, Apart from Sunil Chhetri’s goal, hardly anything went in favour of India as they drew 1-1 with 10-man Bangladesh.

Are Indian Football Players Too Reliant on Sunil Chhetri to Score?

It seems clear from this disappointing, low scoring draw with Bangladesh that Indian struggle with their attacking power.

There was hardly any back-and-forth passing play between the Indian forwards and Bangladeshi defenders contained their attacks with ease.

But, while the Indian team thus played in a dull and uninspiring way, 37-year-old Sunil Chhetri consistently continued to deliver.

He alone scored for the Indian side, with a superb side-footed finish, and was the only livewire in attack.

Finally, apart from piercing the net once, he also set up the ball for his teammates to score. However, these teammates wasted these chances. Bheke let him down, Topu Barman blocked Manvir’s shot, whereas Udanta hit straight at Bangladesh’s keeper Anisur Rahaman.

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