The Indian Football team reached their highest ranking in 2 decades as they climbed to the 100th spot in the latest rankings released by FIFA. The achievement comes as a huge one for the Indian team as they continue their upward surge in the rankings. India recently beat Myanmar in the AFC qualifiers and that has helped them to their best ranking for 2 decades. Here we look at the 3 results that made it possible for India to reach the spot:
1) 4 -1 win against Puerto Rico
India beat Puerto Rico 4-1 in a friendly courtesy of a brilliant performance by ace striker Sunil Chhetri. The captain scored a goal and provided two assists as India easily defeated a stronger and higher ranked Puerto Rico side. India, who led 3-1 at the half-way stage, scored their goals through Narayan Das (18th), Chhetri (26th), Jeje Lalpekhlua (34th) and Jackichand Singh (58th). The win delighted the 7000 Indian fans who gathered at the stadium to watch their team and they certainly went home happy.
2) 3-2 win against Cambodia
Stephen Constantine used a new-look backline against Cambodia and had to rely on the heroics of keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to bail them out. Although India lacked the stability in defence, there was no such problem in their attack as they struck three times to register a huge win which was crucial to their rise in the rankings. Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sandesh Jhingan all scored as India won their first match in 6 months.
3) 1-0 win against Myanmar
India were frustrated by Myanmar for 90 minutes before Sunil Chhetri struck for the third time in three games in stoppage time to hand them a decisive victory in the AFC qualifiers.
India were expected to take a giant leap in the FIFA rankings and that’s exactly what happened. Stephen Constantine has transformed this Indian side and helped players perform to their potential. Constantine has been extremely strict about fitness and has reaped rewards. Maybe, just maybe he could finally fulfil the dream of every Indian football fan. India playing in the World Cup.