Indian Football

3 talking points as India cruised past Cambodia 2-0 in their AFC Asian Cup opener

Arjun Singh Devgan
India beat Cambodia courtesy of a Sunil Chhetri brace
India beat Cambodia courtesy of a Sunil Chhetri brace / Indian Football Team Twitter

India men's national team got their 2023 Asian Cup qualifying campaign to the best possible start as they cruised past Cambodia 2-0 in the opener, with talismanic striker, Sunil Chhetri scoring a brace on the night.

Here, we take a look at three talking points from the game.

1. Chhetri shows why he is India's GOAT

Sunil Chhetri
India v Bahrain - AFC Asian Cup Group A / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Sunil Chhetri is without doubt India's most important player and arguably their greatest ever as he scored a brace on the night to give the Blue Tigers an easy win.

The 37-year-old torch bearer of Indian football for the last decade or so and once again came to the fore when relied on for goals. The brace meant that Chhetri has netted 82 goals for his country - only two short of equalizing Hungarian football legend, Ferenc Puskás, who scored 84 international goals in his career.

2. Stimac won his first competitive game at home

Igor Stimac
Curacao v India - International Friendly / Pakawich Damrongkiattisak/GettyImages

Igor Stimac was appointed as the head coach of the Indian national team in 2019 and while his appointed was hailed at the time - he has struggled to make the Blue Tigers a compact side.

In his three years as the Blue Tigers' head coach, Stimac had failed to win an competitive game at home and he will surely breathe a sigh of relief having broken that duck.

3. India still looking far from perfect

Despite his brace, Chhetri did miss a few easy chances
Despite his brace, Chhetri did miss a few easy chances / Indian Football Team Twitter

India did cruise to victory and their defence had nothing to do for large parts of their game, but Stimac would have wanted his side to have won by a bigger margin on the night.

Chhetri did score a brace on the night, but missed a few presentable opportunities from promising positions. while the rest of attack failed to create enough chances.

This might come to hurt them against stronger opponents in the future.