The Indian Football team could only secure a 1-1 draw against Kuwait in SAFF Championship, with Anwar Ali’s own goal cancelling skipper Sunil Chhetri’s opener in the match. Anwar’s mistake turned out to be a costly one as India could only secure one point from the match. However, Chhetri refused to criticise the defender for the own goal, saying it’s the team that conceded the goal, not the player alone. With India’s progression into the semi-finals already secured, Chhetri wasn’t too concerned with the draw.
Speaking to the media after the match, Chhetri was asked about Anwar’s own goal. He replied, saying: “It’s not Anwar, it is the country that conceded.”
“It can happen to anyone. We didn’t even talk about it now (after the match) and we are all professional enough to not talk about it. I hope the kid shrugs it off, we all have his back as it can happen to anyone,” he added.
The 39-year-old striker also reflected on the ‘technical mistakes’ the team made during the match against Kuwait, saying the players don’t pay too much attention to such errors.
“Technical mistakes are something that we don’t take it too seriously, we just work on our effort. Sometimes I have missed some silly goals that I shouldn’t have missed, somebody’s going to make a silly challenge and we’ll get a penalty. It happens in football. So technical mistake is something that we don’t take too seriously. I’m pretty sure he’s going to work on it and it’s gone. India conceded the goal not Anwar,” the captain said.
Even the fans at the stadium cheered for Anwar after the game, helping him move on from the own goal mistake.