The Indian star made his international debut against rivals Pakistan on June 12, 2005…
16 years ago in Quetta, Pakistan, Indian football star Sunil Chhetri donned the Indian national team jersey for the very first time in his career.
India travelled to Pakistan to play a three-match invitational series in June 2005. In the very first match of the series, Chhetri was handed his international debut by then Indian coach Sukhwinder Singh.
The Indian star currently has 74 international goals to his name in 117 international matches. He is also the third-highest international goalscorer among active footballers in the world, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (104) and UAE’s Ali Mabkhout (75).
Did Sunil Chhetri score on his debut?
Yes, Sunil Chhetri made his international debut in Quetta against Pakistan at the age of 20. Chhetri went on to score his first senior international goal in the same match. It was the talismanic forward’s goal that helped India secure a 1-1 draw against their rivals.
Who was the captain of India?
Current Indian national team assistant coach Shanmugam Venkatesh was Sunil Chhetri’s first-ever captain in the Indian national team. The former Mahindra United midfielder had led the Indian team in the invitational series against Pakistan.
Who was the coach?
Dronacharya Award-winning coach former India international coach Sukhwinder Singh was in charge of the team in the invitational series in Pakistan.
What was India’s line-up?
India team (4-4-2): VP Satish Kumar; Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Philip Gomes, Habibur Rehman Mondal; Syed Rahim Nabi, Shanmugam Venkatesh, Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda; Sunil Chetri (65′ 20-Sukhwinder Singh), Abhishek Yadav (46′ MA Abdul Hakkim).
Who was Chhetri’s strike partner?
Current AIFF Deputy General Secretary Abhishek Yadav was Sunil Chhetri’s strike partner in his debut match in Pakistan.
What happened in the Indo-Pak series?
The three-game invitational series in Pakistan ended in a draw. In the first match, the hosts had managed to hold the Blue Tigers to a 1-1. After Chhetri broke the deadlock in the 65th minute of the match, Pakistani forward Muhammad Essa restored parity in the 81st minute.
India then took the lead in the series by beating their rivals 1-0 in the second match, courtesy a solitary strike from MA Abdul Hakkim.
But Pakistan came back strong to in the third and final game as they thrashed India 3-0. Muhammad Essa, Tanveer Ahmed and Arif Mehmood scored for the home team.