SAFF Championship: Sunil Chhetri backs Anwar Ali after own goal in Kuwait draw

Chhetri backed Anwar after the centre-back conceded a late own goal against Kuwait in the last Group A game of the SAFF Championship 2023
Sunil Chhetri scored his 92nd goal for his national side (Image - AIFF)
Sunil Chhetri scored his 92nd goal for his national side (Image - AIFF)

Sunil Chhetri said nobody in the team is blaming Anwar Ali for conceding the own goal as they don't read much into technical mistakes during the last Group A game of the SAFF Championship 2023. India's record eight-match clean-sheet streak came to an end but India's unbeaten streak at home was stretched to 13 games. India could have registered a historic win over Kuwait as the last game between them ended 9-1 in Kuwait's favour back in 2010.

"It's not Anwar, it's the country, who conceded," said Sunil while interacting with the media after the match. "We didn't talk about it now (in the dressing room after the match) and we are professional enough not to talk about it. I hope the kid shrugged it off, we all have his back because this could happen to anyone. A technical mistake is something we don't read into much. Sometimes, I myself have missed some easy goals that I shouldn't have missed. Someday a defender will make a silly challenge and we will concede a penalty, these things happen in football. I am pretty sure we are going to work on it and it's gone."

"Right now feeling is off a loss after the way we conceded the late goal. We were all disheartened in the dressing room as we couldn't keep the clean sheet and the run ended. We are still on an unbeaten streak at home and will look to carry on with it," said Chhetri. The Indian skipper also scored his 92nd international goal with an excellent volley following a delivery by Anirudh Thapa from the corner right before the end of the first half. Speaking of his record goal, Sunil Chhetri said he doesn't care about personal milestones and will think and talk about it once he hangs his boot.

Chhetri also kept himself far from the touchline controversy. Coach Igor Stimac received another red card and will not be on the sidelines in the Semi-Finals against Lebanon. It is his second red card in the ongoing SAFF Championship 2023. Chhetri said he wasn't in the midst of the incident when it happened.

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