Sunil Chhetri led the Indian side through to the Round Of 16 of the Asian Games 2023 after they played a 1-1 draw against Myanmar in their final group encounter on Sunday. India qualified for the knockouts of the continental tournament for the first time in 13 years. Sunil Chhetri scored the only goal for India. The skipper successfully converted from the spot-kick in the 23rd minute. The penalty was awarded after a foul on Rahim Ali while he was in a one-on-one situation with the goalkeeper.
Myanmar then found the equaliser in the 74th minute with substitute Kyaw Htwe beating Indian goalie Dheeraj Singh with a header. Myanmar continued to build attacks following the goal but the Indian defence ensured things remained as it is until the full-time whistle. That was enough for India to move through with four points in three games. The Blue Tigers will face Saudi Arabia in the next round on Wednesday.
India have scored more goals than Myanmar in the tournament. All in all, it was a creditable performance from them who were thrashed 5-1 by hosts China in their opener. Then they grind out an important 1-0 win over Bangladesh. China topped the pool while India finished second.
The Blue Tigers showed intent from the beginning but seemed to struggle in the final third. However, they still managed to take the lead in the game credit to Chhetri. However, they could not end the group stage on a winning note. The last time the two teams met, earlier this year in Imphal, India beat Myanmar 1-0.