Sunil Chhetri scores as India hold Philippines 1-1 in friendly

Chhetri drew level with former captain Baichung Bhutia as India's leading scorer with 42 goals.

Updated: November 16, 2013 09:50 IST
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Siliguri: Philippines' football squad marked their first outing since Typhoon Haiyan devastated their nation earlier this month with a 1-1 draw against hosts India in Siliguri on Friday.

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri put his team ahead in the 43rd minute with a header from a corner, but James Younghusband drew level in the next minute with a powerful kick from outside the box.

Some 15,000 fans watched an engrossing battle in the second-half, but neither side was able to score the winner in the international friendly.

Both teams and fans observed a minute's silence before the start in memory of the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which is feared to have killed more than 10,000 people in the Philippines and destroyed whole towns and villages.

"This game was our way to pay tribute to all those who died in the typhoon," Younghusband told reporters. "We wanted to give something back to those who have suffered. But we could not win."

Chhetri, whose goal helped him draw level with former captain Baichung Bhutia as India's leading scorer with 42 goals, said he was told by his father before the match to emulate retiring cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

"Look at him and the manner in which he carries the expectations of the nation every time he walked out," Chhettri said, recalling the conversation with his father on Thursday. "I hope I did my bit today."

Tendulkar, the world's top scorer in both Test and one-day cricket, is due to retire after the ongoing Test against the West Indies in Mumbai, his 200th Test appearance.

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