'Congratulations to our Blue Tigers' - Shreyas Iyer honours Indian football team for AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualification

India signed off with a 4-0 victory over Hong Kong to make a big statement in the tournament.

Shreyas Iyer
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Shreyas Iyer. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Manoj Kumar
MANOJ KUMAR

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Kolkata Knight Riders captain Shreyas Iyer congratulated the Indian football team for their remarkable achievement in the recent AFC Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers. The Indian side was placed in Group D alongside Hong Kong, Cambodia and Afghanistan and they topped the group by winning all three games.

It all started with an inspired 2-0 win against Cambodia as one of India’s greatest footballers, Sunil Chhetri stepped up with two goals to take the side home. The second game was quite dramatic as Afghanistan produced a scare in the 88th minute by equalising after India’s 86th-minute goal and it needed a terrific goal in the 91st minute from the Indian side again to win the game 2-1.

Before the final game began, India had already qualified courtesy of Palestine’s victory over Philippines. Meanwhile, the contest between India and Hong Kong was expected to be an even-stevens one. However, the Blue Tigers managed to dominate the game and signed off with a 4-0 victory to make a big statement in the tournament. This will be a huge step for India’s ultimate goal of reaching the World Cup in the coming years.

“Congratulations to our #BlueTigers on topping the table and qualifying for the AFC #AsianCup2023,” Iyer tweeted. Incidentally, the 27-year-old has been spotted in the Indian practice sessions showcasing his football skills. 

Here’s the tweet from Shreyas Iyer

Meanwhile, Iyer ,who has been a part of India’s ongoing T20I against South Africa, has been struggling to produce big scores. The right-hander was in excellent touch in the home series against Sri Lanka ahead of the start of IPL 2022 and was expected to have a big season. However, he scored just 401 runs in 14 games at an average of 30.84 despite ending up as the top run-getter for his new franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders.

With Virat Kohli rested for the ongoing five-match T20I series against South Africa, Iyer has the opportunity to seal his spot in the side, but he hasn’t been able to convert his good starts so far. With scores of 36, 40 and 14, Iyer needs two big innings in the remaining two games to ensure he remains a strong contender for a spot in the Indian playing XI once the regulars return.