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SAFF Championships: India beat Maldives to book place in final

SAFF Championships: India beat Maldives to book place in final

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

Manvir Singh’s opener was cancelled by Ali Ashfaq in the first half before Sunil Chhetri scored a brace in the second half to confirm the berth for the Blue Tigers.

Chhetri’s two goals took him beyond Brazilian legend Pele. He is now the joint sixth highest goal scorer in the world, just one short of Lionel Messi’s goal tally of 80 international goals.

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

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

Notwithstanding the occasional chatter around his age and his longevity, the Indian captain had said that he wanted to keep playing in top-flight and has not given his future any thought.

India is undefeated in this edition, having earlier played out draws with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and then beating Nepal. The side will now look for its eight SAFF Championship title when it takes on first-time finalist Nepal in the final.

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