Indian Football

3 talking points as India thrashed Hong Kong 4-0 in final qualifying game of the AFC Asian Cup

Arjun Singh Devgan
India beat Hong Kong 4-0 in their final Asian Cup qualifier
India beat Hong Kong 4-0 in their final Asian Cup qualifier / Indian Football Team Twitter
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The India men's national team celebrated their qualification for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup by thrashing Hong Kong 4-0 in their final qualifying game at the Salt Lake Stadium on Tuesday, June 14.

Goals from Anwar Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh and Ishan Pandita gave the Blue Tigers an easy win against opponents who were considered to be the toughest for Igor Stimac's side as Hong Kong went into their final clash unbeaten.

However, India proved by their superiority by thrashing their opponents and here, we take a look at the talking points from the game.

1. Anwar Ali's goal was heartwarming

Anwar Ali made an incredible comeback from a health condition
Anwar Ali made an incredible comeback from a health condition / Twitter

Anwar Ali opened the scoring as early as the second minute after he netted from a short Ashique Kuruniyan corner with his right-footed strike into the top corner.

The 21-year-old scored his maiden international goal four years after his career nearly ended on health grounds, with the youngsters career being put on hold after being diagnosed with a rare heart disease (Hypertrophic Myocardiopathy).

2. Chhetri entered the top-five international goalscorers list

Sunil Chhetri is only two goals behind Lionel Messi in all-time international goalscorers list
Sunil Chhetri is only two goals behind Lionel Messi in all-time international goalscorers list / Indian Football Team Twitter

Sunil Chhetri is without doubt the greatest player in Indian footballing history and the striker's goal on the night meant that he has now scored 84 international goals - thereby equalling Hungarian great Ferenc Puskas in the all-time international goalscorers list.

The Indian icon is just two goals behind Argentine superstar, Lionel Messi among active players in the list led by Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo (117).

3. India qualify for the Asian Cup for the second consecutive time

India beat Hong Kong 4-0
India beat Hong Kong 4-0 / Indian Football Team Twitter

India had already qualified for the 2023 Asian Cup even before their game against Hong Kong after after Palestine defeated Philippines 4-0 in a group B match in Ulaanbaatar.

This meant that this was the first time in the country's history that they had qualified for two successive editions of the Asian Cup.

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