A historic day for the Indian Football and the Indian cricket team as they registered victories in their respective matches. The football team, led by talismanic skipper Sunil Chhetri, registered a 4-1 win over Thailand in Abu Dhabi on Sunday to register their first Asia Cup victory in 55 years. The skipper opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 27th minute to give India the lead in their opener of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Al Nahyan Stadium.
The forward then scored his second goal of the match in the 46th minute to help India regain the lead before youngster Anirudh Thapa (69th minute) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (80th minute) put the game to bed. Not only India registered their highest win in the competition, but Chhetri also made history as he went ahead of Argentina and Barcelona legend Lionel Messi in terms of scoring International goals by an active player.
The Bengaluru FC skipper is only behind Portuguese talisman Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 85 times for the national team. The 34-year-old – with 67 goals – is in the second spot, while Messi has scored 65 for the national side. Chhetri achieved this feat while playing his 104th match.
The official Twitter handle of the AFC Asian Cup also took note of Chhetri’s achievement and said, “Sunil Chhetri scores his 66th with India to overtake Lionel Messi becoming the active player with the 2nd most international goals.”
Sunil Chhetri scores his 66th with India to overtake Lionel Messi becoming the active player with the 2nd most international goals 👏 pic.twitter.com/4EaDP8IeqK
— #AsianCup2019 (@afcasiancup) January 6, 2019
Virat Kohli led Team India create history in Australia
After Indian football team made history in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, it was Virat Kohli’s turn to make it a double celebration as Indian cricket team registered a historic series win over Australia after the final day of the fourth and final test at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Monday was called off due to bad weather condition, giving a resounding 2-1 series win in the four-match series.
It took 71 years for Team India to script history and register their maiden series on Australian soil.
India started off the series with 31 run victory at Adelaide before the host stormed back to win the second test in Perth by 146 runs to level the series. Virat and co responded back by crushing the host by 137 runs in the third test in Melbourne before drawing the final test. After enforcing the follow-on with a 322-run lead that was achieved early on the fourth day, India couldn’t push for 3-1 series win.
India’s talismanic skipper finished third (282 runs) among all batters in the series behind Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant who finished ahead of him in the series with 521 and 350 runs respectively. Both sides will now square off in three ODIs to round-off a tour that began with the T20I series locked 1-1 after a similar rain abandonment in the series decider in Sydney.