Having lost matches to Tajikistan and North Korea, India was already knocked out of the Intercontinental Cup. The Blue Tigers took the field to play their last game of the tournament against Syria in Ahmedabad on Tuesday, 16 July. Syria needed to win the match to go ahead in the tournament but India held them to a 1-1 draw. 18-year-old Narender Ghelot scored his first goal for India in the 51st minute while Syria struck back with skipper Firas Al-Khatib converting a penalty in the 78th minute.
Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri took to Twitter to share his thoughts about the tournament. He said that even though the Indian team couldn’t win a game, they are taking a lot away from the Intercontinental Cup. He went on to say that the team has mistakes to mend but also gained positives that the team will capitalise on and the support that the team got. He then pleaded the fans to invest hope in the Indian side as this team is going to fight for India.
Chhetri also said that the coaching staff backs the team and believes in them and so should the fans. He later thanked Ahmedabad for being a good host to the match and to the people who came out in the Blue Tigers’ support.
Chhetri during the tournament became the second highest international goal scorer surpassing Argentine Lionel Messi. Chettri achieved the feat in the opening match of the Intercontinental Cup against Tajikistan. The Indian skipper now has 70 goals under his belt for India whereas Messi has 68. Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal leads the tally with 88 goals.