"Jam packed stadium gave us motivation to come back from 1-0" - Sunil Chhetri


Sunil Chhetri received the award for the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He shared his thoughts on India's famous win against Afghanistan in the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 during the post match press conference.

"Disaster struck when Robin got injured. But everyone stuck together. It's not just the way we won the tournament. Right from the way we behave in hotel, when everybody is having lunch. When a young team wins, it's always positive.

Chhetri thanked the supporters who came in large numbers and packed the Greenfield Stadium on Sunday and also stressed the importance of the win.

"I was disappointed when we played the first two games.But now it felt like Kerala. It was jam packed. Thanks to the fans who came from Bangalore and a lot of other places. When we went down 1-0 the whole stadium was cheering for us. That gives you enough motivation to come back. So I think the 12th man was very important" said Chhetri."Afghanistan is not going to play SAFF tournaments again. They are going to a different zone. If they had won today, they would be SAFF champions for life.I said this to the boys today.So it was very important for us to win today and that gives me a lot of happiness. "

Sunil Chhetri also talked about the importance of developing sports and the growth of football in the country.

"I have known a lot of big players who have never won a tournament. It is very difficult to win a tournament. I just want every kid to play some kind of sports. If Rahul Dravid is playing, Sachin is playing, Saina Nehwal is playing, it makes me very happy. All the sports should be given importance. We are 1.3 billion people maybe more. I think it [football] is [growing]."

Lastly, the Indian captain dedicated the win to the injured Robin Singh who had to leave the squad midway through the tournament.

"I want to dedicate this trophy to Robin. What happened to him was really unfortunate.We watched the replay again and again and 9 out of 10 times, nothing happens [to the player]. We feel for the boy. He was doing really well."

Match Report: Maldives 2 – 1 India
Maldives defeated defending champions India 2-1 to lift the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Match Preview: Maldives vs India
The 2018 SAFF Suzuki Cup final will be played between two teams who have faced each other more than any other in the competition’s history: Maldives and India.
Match Report: India 3-1 Pakistan
Defending champions India registered a 3-1 victory over Pakistan in a hotly contested SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 semi-final.
Final: Maldives vs India (Highlights)
Semi final: India vs Pakistan (Highlights)
Semi final: Nepal vs Maldives (Highlights)