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Sunil Chhetri in action during Asian Games 2023© X (formerly Twitter)

Riding on a Sunil Chhetri strike, the Indian men’s football team held Myanmar to a 1-1 draw and progressed to the round of 16 in the Asian Games on Sunday. They will play Saudi Arabia in the pre-quarters. Chhetri scored from the spot in the 23rd minute but it was Rahim Ali who earned the penalty when he was brought down inside the box by Hein Zeyar Lin. While Lin was shown a yellow card for his sliding tackle, the peerless Chhetri made no mistake in finding the back of the net, in what was a repeat of the act he performed against Bangladesh in the second group game two days ago.

(Asian Games 2023 medals tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)

Coming off the bench, Kyaw Htwe found the equaliser for Myanmar when he headed the ball past Dheeraj Singh in the 74th minute at the Xiaoshan Sports Center Stadium.

However, despite the two teams having same points, India progressed as the runner-up from Group A, as the Chhetri-led side has scored more goals than Myanmar in the tournament.

All in all, it was a creditable performance from the Indians who were thrashed 5-0 by hosts China in their opener, before getting their act together to eke out a scrappy 1-0 win over Bangladesh. China topped the pool.

India showed intent from the beginning but seemed to struggle in the final third. However, they still managed to take the lead in the game thanks to Chhetri’s goal.

However, they could not end the group stage on a winning note.

The last time the two teams met, earlier this year in Imphal, India beat Myanmar 1-0. PTI AH AH UNG

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