Sunil Chhetri displaced England striker Wayne Rooney to occupy the fourth spot on the international highest active goalscorer list courtesy his winning strike against Kyrgyzstan. Chhetri is now behind Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Clint Dempsey who occupy the top three positions in that order.
The 69th-minute strike not only helped India win the match and stay in a commanding position in the qualifiers but also resulted in Chhetri overtaking English striker Wayne Rooney in terms of international goals scored with his 54th strike for India.
The 32-year old scored the only goal of the match when he dribbled past the defenders to return the ball to a waiting Jeje Lalpekhlua who fed the ball to the Indian striker who ensured a clean finish for India to emerge victorious in the match.
The only three players ahead of Chhetri on the list are Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo with 73 goals followed by his rival and Barcelona striker Lionel Messi with 58 strikes and American Clint Dempsey with 56 goals. Chhetri can overcome his American counterpart by scoring three more goals to occupy a spot in the top three with the most famous names in football.
India recently rose to the 100th rank in the World FIFA rankings, their highest position in the last 21 years, and have shown steady improvement under current coach Stephen Constantine.