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Sunil Chhetri said – I am on the ‘peak of form’, it will be great to play Asian Cup on home soil

Kolkata. Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri would love to play the AFC Asia Cup on home soil and the star player admitted that he is at the “peak of form” at the age of 37. The Indian national football team on Tuesday night thrashed Hong Kong 4-0 to qualify for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Finals in front of a packed Salt Lake Stadium.

Impressed by the presence of so many spectators in the final qualifying match despite heavy rain, Chhetri expressed his desire to play the finals in India. India qualified for the Asian Cup for the second consecutive time for the first time in history. He said, ‘The kind of form we are in, we would like to play at home. Seeing the way the spectators are coming to watch the match and supporting us, it will be great to play here.

see also, Indian football team crushes Hong Kong 4-0, wins hat-trick

The Asian Cup Finals was to be held in China next year, but in view of the Kovid-19 situation in the country, it had decided to withdraw from hosting. India registered a thumping win over Hong Kong in Group D after victories over Cambodia and Afghanistan in the third round qualifiers of the Asian Cup. All the matches were played at the Salt Lake Stadium, where India was playing after more than two years.

Sunil Chhetri praised the budding youngsters in the national team at the end of the 3-match campaign. He said, ‘The kids are awesome, they’ll probably kill me (laughs) for saying kids, the boys are awesome. We have the right combination of senior and junior players in our dressing room.

Chhetri said, ‘Akash Mishra and Roshan Singh are excellent in the team along with Liston Colaso ​​and Suresh Wangjam.’ He said, ‘Yes, a lot of young players are coming and Ishaan Pandita is brilliant in training and you saw his performance today. Ishaan and Sahal (Abdul Samad) are two players who deserve this kind of performance.

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Chhetri scored the second goal of the match while Anwar Ali, Manveer Singh and Ishan Pandita also got their names on the scoresheet. Chhetri is set to play in the finals of his third Asian Cup tournament after 2011 and 2019. He is 37 years old but the striker feels that he is now at the peak of his form.

see also, Need to learn the art of scoring goals without Sunil Chhetri… Why did the coach have to say this?

He said, ‘Now I am reaching the pinnacle of form. The last Asian Cup has passed. We want to work hard. It doesn’t matter whether I play in the next big tournament or someone else gets a chance but India should be in the Asian Cup. I have already said this.

This charismatic striker said, ‘It is very important for us as a country to stay in the Asian Cup so that we can fight shoulder to shoulder with the best players in India, which does not happen often. With this, we will get opportunities to play friendly matches with better ranked rivals for the preparations of the tournament.

Tags: AFC, Asian Cup 2023 Qualifiers, Football, Sports news, sunil chhetri

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