Chhetri a goal away from entering all-time top-10 scorers' list
Goal-machine Sunil Chhetri will look to add to his tally and enter the all-time top-ten scorers' list as a buoyant India meet Afghanistan in the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in Doha on Tuesday. A hat-trick for Chhetri will see him equal the iconic Pele in terms of the number of goals scored in the international arena.
Chhetri also stands to surpass Lionel Messi
Chhetri is also just one goal off entering the all-time top-10 list of goal-scorers. A Chhetri-inspired India ended their winless run in international football when the captain struck a brace against Bangladesh in their previous outing. The talk since then mostly centered around the Indian talisman surpassing the legendary Lionel Messi as international football's second-highest scorer among active players.
Draw against Afghanistan is all India needs
The Indian team needs just a draw from their final game against Afghanistan to secure a place in the third round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers after Oman defeated Afghanistan 2-1 on Friday. If the Blue Tigers can avoid defeat in the upcoming match, they will finish third in their group, an improvement over the fifth-place result during the last campaign.
Chhetri aiming to add to his tally of 74 goals
Chhetri will look to put his best foot forward in the upcoming match against Afghanistan and add to his tally of 74 goals. India team will look up to the duo of Chhetri and Manvir Singh to fire upfront, with Brandon Fernandes marshaling the midfield and keeping the supply chain flowing. Nothing less than a victory is expected from the Blue Tigers.
Indian team defeated Bangladesh in their previous match
India is already out of contention for the World Cup qualifying campaign and is now looking to secure a berth in the 2023 Asian Cup, scheduled to be held in China. India will enter the upcoming game as clear favorites despite Afghanistan's ability to fight it out. The Indian team will be high on confidence after thoroughly dominating Bangladesh in the previous game.