Indian national football team received a grand ovation at the VYBK stadium as they thrashed their closest rival in Group D 4-0. A near-capacity crowd cheering for the home team was delighted with the performance and sang Vande Mataram in unison, in a touching moment. A perfect greeting from the home crowd created an iconic moment and moved Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri.
The inspiring city is the sporting capital of India with football and cricket among the most supported sport in the region. Though India was against a lower-ranked team, fans did make it big with huge attendance and supporting chants filling up the air. Blues also didn’t disappoint their supporters and put up a marvelous performance sealing the win.
India had already qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, courtesy of the Philippines’ earlier loss. India celebrated their qualification for the Finals by handing Hong Kong a 4-0 defeat. Igor Stimac’s side was on top right from the kickoff as Anwar Ali opened the scoring just 2 mins into the 1st half.
India’s top scorer Sunil Chhetri doubled the lead, while Manvir Singh and Ishan Pandita scored late in the second half to cap off the emphatic game. Indian Tigers celebrated the win with their fans which was when the fans reciprocated by singing the song.
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— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) June 15, 2022
The 37-year-old Indian skipper Chettri later said that he is hitting his peak and praised the youngsters in the team. While expressing his joy over the support and especially the song at the end, he said: “The kind of form we are in we would have love to play at home. The way the fans are coming up and supporting us in numbers, it would be great to play here.”
It is a back-to-back qualification for the Blue Tigers at the AFC Asian Cup for the first time. The win confirms India’s perfect record in qualification games after earlier wins over Afghanistan and Cambodia. Placed in the Host pot, India has a chance to play at home against their opponents and with such an atmosphere in the stadium, the Indian side would be raring to better their record in the Asian Cup.