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India play out goalless draw against Kuwait in Sunil Chhetri’s last international match | Football News

NEW DELHI: India’s 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Kuwait ended in a disappointing goalless draw, failing to provide a fitting farewell for the talismanic Sunil Chhetri in his last international match.
The result leaves India in a challenging position to progress to the third round of the qualifiers, with only five points collected so far. India’s final match is against Asian champions Qatar on June 11, while Kuwait, with four points, will face Afghanistan on the same day.

Chhetri’s international career spans an impressive 19 years, during which he scored 94 goals, making him the fourth most prolific scorer in international football, behind Portugal superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (128), Iran legend Ali Daei (108) and Argentine wizard Lionel Messi (106).
This remarkable achievement is particularly noteworthy for a player from a country like India, and FIFA recognised Chhetri’s legendary status upon his announcement of international retirement on May 16.

Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium, with a capacity of 68,000, was packed with fans, officials, and former players who came to bid an emotional adieu to Chhetri.
His parents, Kharga and Sushila, and wife, Sonam Bhattacharya, were also in attendance. Although Chhetri’s international career has come to an end, he will continue playing club football for Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League for another two years, as per his current contract.
Chhetri’s debut match against Pakistan on June 12, 2005, in Quetta ended in a 1-1 draw, with the striker scoring in his first international appearance.
However, he was unable to find the back of the net in his final match, which also ended in a draw, and had little impact on the game overall.
(With PTI inputs)

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