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SAFF Championship 2023: Sunil Chhetri Scores Hat-Trick As India Thrash Pakistan 4-0

SAFF Championship 2023: Hosts India thrashed the Pakistan football team 4-0 on Wednesday night in Bengaluru.

Blue Tigers - Indian football team showed no mercy to neighbours Pakistan football team as they thrashed the opposition xxx in their first game of the SAFF Championship 2023 on Wednesday night in Bengaluru. The high-intensity clash of Group B took place at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and it took captain Sunil Chhetri just ten minutes to get his team in front.

Riding on a mistake from Pakistan goalkeeper Saqib Hanif, Chhetri scored one of the most easiest goals of his international career to get India in front. Just a few moments later, Chhetri scored from the penalty spot again. (Watch: India Coach Igor Stimac Sent Off After Tussle With Pakistan Coach And Players)

The referee signaled to the spot after a Pakistan midfielder got his hand on the ball inside the penalty area as Anirudh Thapa was trying to play a through-ball over him.

Talking about the tactics, India had two players wide playing on the wings with each one having a midfielder behind their back to support them and connect to Chhetri in the middle in the final third.

Pakistan started off with a low press tactic waiting for the opposition to enter their half and then look to steal the ball. India were quite comfortable moving the ball around and finding gaps to exploit the Pakistan defence and midfield line.

The first half finished with a scoreline of 2-0 as Pakistan decided to cool things down with a lower defence block tactic after conceding two goals in no time in the first half.

Just minutes before the half-time whistle, an unwanted incident took place as India's head coach Igor Stimac got involved with the opposition coach and players.

In the second half, India once again scored twice with a subline finish from Udanta Singh and Sunil Chhetri from the penalty spot. The two goals in the second were the icing on the cake for India as they completed the game with a 4-0 scoreline against Pakistan.

"It's very disappointing to lose. Especially to India. But India are a talented team. For us, it has been very, very difficult. 24 hours of travelling. No training for three days. Some of the boys arrived in their rooms just today in the evening. These are just the facts," said Pakistan's Easah Suliman after facing difficulty in travelling to India.