Kolkata: India beat Afghanistan 2-1 in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Saturday, thanks to a sensational goal from talisman Sunil Chhetri and an injury-time strike from Sahal Abdul Samad. The victory helps India maintain their lead in the group as they look to make their second consecutive appearance in the Asian Cup and fifth overall, after being eliminated in the group stage in the last edition in 2019.
After being denied for 86 minutes, Chhetri gave India the lead with a superb free-kick from little over 20 yards, taking only a few steps before slamming the ball into the right corner of the net, beating Afghanistan’s goalkeeper.
For the most part, India controlled the encounter and emerged as merited winners.
The hosts were coming off a 2-0 victory against Cambodia in the first match, while Afghanistan was coming off a loss to Hong Kong.
On June 14, India will meet Hong Kong in their final qualification match.