Male [Maldives], October 16 (ANI): The Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, Anurag Thakur on Saturday congratulated the men's Indian football team for winning SAFF Championship for record-extending 8th time.
Goals from Sunil Chhetri, Suresh Singh Wangjam and Sahal Abdul Samad gave the Blue Tigers a convincing victory at the National Stadium in Male against Nepal by 3-0.
Sunil Chhetri ended the SAFF Championships 2021 with the most number of goals -- 5 and he has now also equalled the Lionel Messi of Argentina in the international men's goal tally (80). Chhetri has now become the joint-second (along with Lionel Messi) most-prolific scorer among active footballers in men's with 80 goals, only behind Cristiano Ronaldo (115).
"India wins its 8th SAFFChampionships2021 Title @chetrisunil11 scripts history as he equals Lionel Messi's record of making 80 goals in International Men's. Goal scorers: S Chettri S Singh S A Samad Congratulations to the BlueTigers !" Anurag Thakur tweeted.
After a tough start to their tournament with two draws, India bounced back in their last two group matches against Nepal and Maldives to finish as the table-toppers.
India remains the only team undefeated in the tournament. This was Nepal's first appearance in the final of the SAFF Championship. They last defeated India (2-1) in the tournament in the 2013 edition. However, India leads the overall head-to-head record 16-2 in 23 matches. (ANI)