The Indian star made his international debut against rival Pakistan on June 12, 2005 …

16 years ago, Indian soccer star Sunil Chhetri wore the jersey of the Indian national team for the first time in his career in Quetta, Pakistan.

India traveled to Pakistan in June 2005 to play a three-game invitational series. In the very first game in the series, Chhetri made his international debut from then Indian coach Sukhwinder Singh.

The Indian star has currently scored 74 international goals in 117 internationals. He is also the third highest international goalscorer among active footballers in the world, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (104) and Ali Mabkhout (75) from the United Arab Emirates.

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Did Sunil meet Chhetri on his debut?

Yes, Sunil Chhetri made his international debut in Quetta against Pakistan at the age of 20. Chhetri scored his first international goal in the same game. It was the talisman striker’s goal that helped India draw 1-1 with their rivals.

Who was the captain of India?

Shanmugam Venkatesh, the current assistant coach of the Indian national team, was Sunil Chhetri’s first captain in the Indian national team. The former Mahindra United midfielder had led the Indian team in the invitation streak against Pakistan.

Who was the trainer?

The Dronacharya Award-winning coach Sukhwinder Singh, former Indian national coach, led the team in the invitation series in Pakistan.

How was India’s position?

India Team (4-4-2): Vice President Satish Kumar; Surkumar Singh, Mahesh Gawli, Philip Gomes, Habibur Rehman Mondal; Syed Rahim Nabi, Shanmugam Venkatesh, Climax Lawrence, Clifford Miranda; Sunil Chetri (65.20-Sukhwinder Singh), Abhishek Yadav (46th MA Abdul Hakkim).

Who was Chhetri’s attack partner?

The current AIFF Deputy General Secretary Abhishek Yadav was Sunil Chhetri’s attacking partner in his debut game in Pakistan.

What happened in the Indo-Pak series?

The three-game series of invitations in Pakistan ended in a draw. In the first game, the hosts managed to keep the Blue Tigers 1-1. After Chhetri survived the dead end in the 65th minute of the game, Pakistani striker Muhammad Essa restored parity in the 81st minute.

India then took the lead in the series by beating their rivals 1-0 in the second game thanks to a single strike from MA Abdul Hakkim.

But Pakistan made a strong return in the third and final game when they beat India 3-0. Muhammad Essa, Tanveer Ahmed and Arif Mehmood met for the home team.