Scoring in 100th match is a dream come true: Bhutia

India's Baichung Bhutia celebrates with teammate Steven Dias, right, after scoring a goal. PTI

"It is a dream come true to have played in 100 matches and scoring in my 100th match. I also got the man of the match I could not have asked for more," Bhutia said after India beat Kyrgyzstan 2-1 in their crucial round-robin match of the Nehru Cup international football tournament on Sunday.

"I dedicate the feat to all the past and present team-mates, coaches and the support staff in my 14 years of international career who have made it possible to play in 100 matches.

"It is something I had not thought would come come true in reality," said Bhutia, who made his India debut in 1995 in a Nehru Cup match in Kolkata.
The Sikkimese Sniper admitted he was under a bit of nerve going into his milestone match.
"I was under a bit of pressure initially as it was my 100th match and we had to win. But after 10 minutes or so it was normal," said the 32-year-old.

Bhutia also said that India has improved a lot in the last few years that even top countries in Asia would find his side difficult to beat.
"We have improved a lot and I can say it won't be easy for countries like Japan and Korea to beat us," he said.
Asked about his team's chances to make it to the final after today's win, Bhutia said no team can take their place in the final for granted.
"No team is not 100 per cent certain to play in the final. We have to play our best in our next two matches. We are not thinking of other teams but for ourselves only. Conditions are difficult here with lots of humidity and heat and so it won't be easy for any team.

"Credit goes to this current team also. It is a wonderful team of talented players. We left our families for more than a month for training (in Dubai and Bracelona and we sacrificed a lot in that count," he said.
Bhutia praised goalkeeper Subrata Paul's second half penalty save when India were leading 2-0.
"It was a crucial save and that could have turned the match. It rejuvenated the side," he said.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry