Hat-trick hero Chhetri inspires India to an emphatic victory

Last Updated: Oct 08, 2010, 22:41 PM IST

Pune: After suffering a narrow defeat against Hong Kong on Monday, India were right on target with Sunil Chhetri scoring a fluent hat-trick to guide India to a 3-1 victory over Vietnam in an international friendly played at the Balewadi sports complex.

Chhetri opened the scoring for the Bob Houghton coached side in the 25th minute, while he made no mistake to put India on the driver seat completing his brace in the 49th minute and scored his third goal in the 72nd minute before Vu Nhu Thanh pulled one back for the visitors from the spot in the 62nd minute.

It all started well for India as they spurned in a series of chances in the opponent citadel. Chettri showed his clear intention right from the word go and saw his shot going off target in the 6th minute, while the Kansas City Wizards striker came close break the deadlock ten minutes later, but could only find Vietnam goalkeeper Duong Hong Son.

Vietnam on the other side, were playing a waiting game and could only see the game drifting away from their hands. Chhetri made no mistake to put the Henrique Calisto side on the back foot with a brilliant finish in the 25th minute to mark the beginning of the riot.

Clifford Miranda provided an inch perfect cross from the left flank for Chhetri to do the rest.

India went for the breather with a 1-0 deserved lead and hardly the second grew old by four minutes, the Delhi lad made it 2-0 with a brilliant finish off Anthony Pereira`s cross.

Vietnam fight-back earned them a consolation goal in the 62nd minute as Dao Van Phong was brought down by Surkumar Singh inside the box. Defender Vu Nhu Thanh decreased the deficit from the spot.

The final blow for Vietnam came in the 72nd minute as Sunil Chhetri completed his hat-trick with a great finish as India marked a superb victory.

PTI