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Rediff.com  » Sports » First Look: Chhetri scores on debut for Kansas City Wizards

First Look: Chhetri scores on debut for Kansas City Wizards

April 01, 2010 13:34 IST

Sunil ChhetriSunil Chhetri scored on debut as Kansas City Wizards thrashed University of Tulsa 5-1 in a friendly match in Missouri, United States.

The forward, who joined Kansas on Tuesday as the first Indian player to ply his trade in MLS, came on the field in the second half of the match on Wednesday, and scored the team's fourth goal in a convincing win.

The other scorers for Kansas were Josh Wolff, Teal Bunbury, Korede Aiyegbusi and Igor Kostrov.

Chhetri had missed the team's Major League Soccer (MLS) opener against DC United last weekend, which the team won 4-0.

Chhetri has been a regular with the Indian national team since 2004, scoring 16 goals in 35 appearances. His most famous moment with the national team came in 2008, when he scored a hattrick in the final of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup against Tajikistan.

Because of the victory in that tournament, India qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar, the first time after 1984.

Chhetri began his professional career in 2002 with Mohun Bagan, scoring eight goals in 18 appearances over three years with the team.

He later played for I-League sides JCT, East Bengal and Dempo, making 75 appearances and scoring 35 goals over the next five years, earning Indian Player of the Year honour from the AIFF in 2007.

Chhetri drew interest from British clubs Leeds United and Glasgow Celtic and appeared for trials last year with English Championships (second division) sides Coventry City and Queen's Park Rangers.

QPR offered Chhetri a contract but could not complete his move after the English Home Office denied him a work permit due to India's low FIFA rankings.

The Wizards doesn't have any MLS engagement this weekend, will play an intra-club match on Saturday.

Their next MLS match is against Colorado Rapids at home on April 10, followed by an away game against Seattle the next Saturday.

The Wizards will be up against LA Galaxy in the match after that.

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