Grateful Sunil Chhetri jokes with Indian fans over penalty cheer

first_imgSunil Chhetri marked his 100th international game with a brace to steer India into the final of the Intercontinental Cup and all that in front of a jam-packed Mumbai Football Arena on Monday.Chhetri had made an appeal for support of the fans two days ago. He had asked people to come to the stadium and watch India play after an attendance of just a over 2500 in their first game against Chinese Taipei, and the people obliged.People swarmed the stadium and screamed and sang all night long for the captain’s milestone day.Intercontinental Cup 2018: Sunil Chhetri brace helps India crush KenyaChhetri was extremely happy with the turnout. He was very thankful to everyone for listening to his plea and turning up in such huge numbers but there was one moment on the day that Chhetri was grateful for and yet it made him feel like he was playing an away game.In the 66th minute, Chhetri went down in the penalty area and the referee, without much hesitation, pointed towards the spot. A golden opportunity to score on his century game had arrived.As Chhetri stood on the ground ready to take the penalty, the entire stadium cheered for him, screamed his name and the captain later joked he was not sure whether the fans knew “you gotta be calm when you’re taking a penalty.”Captain @chetrisunil11 and @jejefanai set up an emphatic win for India against Kenya and almost assure a place for them in the finals. #Chhetri100 #INDvKEN #WeAreIndia #BackTheBlue #AsianDream Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 4, 2018″I’m not sure whether they know this that you gotta be calm when you’re taking a penalty but it’s alright, I can imagine, nerves, excitement.”Generally you want everybody to be quite but it’s alright. It made me feel like I was playing in an away game but it’s okay, it was all in my name and good encouragement and thank God the ball went in,” Chhetri said after the match.In the dying moments of the game, Chhetri scored off a brilliant chip to give a perfect end to a perfect day. Chhetri has now scored 61 goals in 100 international games and is third on the list of top goalscorers in the world among active footballers. Lionel Messi is just three goals ahead of him while Cristiano Ronaldo tops the list with 81.With a game against New Zealand still left, India are now already waiting for their opponents on June 10.Chhetri deemed it as a very special moment when they arrived to see a jam-packed stadium and even defender Sandesh Jhingan said at the presentation ceremony that a crowd that big, pumps up the players.Captain @chetrisunil11 scores a brace in his 100th International Cap to lead India to a 3-0 win over Kenya.Read: #Chhetri100 #INDvKEN #WeAreIndia #AsianDream Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 4, 2018″I’m so happy, so happy they turned up. In the future, we are going to win and lose games but if this is what we get, we are going to give our lives on the pitch, it was so special, it was so good to see a jam-packed stadium.”It was so good that everyone came and I am so happy that everyone had a good night, go back and enjoy and we promise you, everytime we get to play for our nation, we are going to give our 100 per cent. Feels good,” Chhetri added.Master @chetrisunil11 scores in his 100th International match. That’s his 60th International goal. #Chhetri100 #INDvKEN #WeAreIndia #BackTheBlue #AsianDream Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 4, 2018It all seemed to have fallen into place on Monday. Chhetri had scored a tremendous hat-trick against Chinese Taipei, his first for India after a gap of 8 years, and yet there were just a few people to witness that momentous occasion.He later took to Twitter to request the fans of all sports to back the Indian national team and come to the stadium. He urged the fans “who have lost hope” to come “scream at us, shout at us, abuse us and who knows, one day we might change you guys. You might start cheering for us.”This is nothing but a small plea from me to you. Take out a little time and give me a listen. Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) June 2, 2018It may not be an overnight change but perhaps the movement began in Mumbai on Monday. Thousands arrived to see how India would play with them in the stadium and the Blue Tigers responded with a massive roar.advertisementNot only did Chhetri score a brace, India’s sniper Jeje Lalpekhlua too joined the party with a beautiful goal from a tight angle. He showed it to one and all that the Indian football team does not lack in talent.Chhetri thanked everyone for making it to the stadium, told them what it meant for the players, requested for “just a little bit of time and patience” and promised to “give everything for our country”.”Thank you so much, you have no idea what it means when we come and have a jam-packed stadium and boys are buzzing inside. A little bit of appreciation goes a long way when you’re playing for your country.”Just a little bit of time and patience we require and like I said, we are going to have bad days in the future, we will have good days but one thing is for sure, we are going to give everything for our country,” Chhetri concluded.last_img