Forward Lallianzuala Chhangte scored his first goal in national colours since 2019 and was named the Hero of the Match as India comfortably secured a 2-0 victory against Mongolia in their opening game of the Hero Intercontinental Cup at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Friday.

Chhangte swiftly doubled the lead for the Blue Tigers in the 14th minute from close range, following Sahal Abdul Samad's opening goal within the first two minutes of the game. India wasted no time in asserting their dominance and maintained an attacking stance right from the initial whistle.

The winger from Mumbai City FC reflected on his individual performance as well as the overall team's display after the match. However, he also admitted that there is plenty of room for improvement in the upcoming games.

“I think individually and collectively we did well (considering it was) the first game. But I think we could've done better, a lot better. We will learn from our mistakes and try to come back stronger in the next game,” said Chhangte.

With this victory, the Blue Tigers have now extended their winning streak to six games on home soil, and this win will certainly motivate them for the next games. Chhangte, who has seamlessly carried his club performance into national colours, acknowledges the importance of a strong start.

“Starting a tournament on a positive note is always important because it will give us more motivation and energy for the next games. These three points will give us a lot more energy and motivation for the next game,” he said.

The 26-year-old started the game as a left-winger, with Udanta Singh occupying the right-wing position. Chhangte was seen making some marauding runs down the left flank before being shifted back to his preferred right-wing position when Naorem Mahesh Singh replaced Udanta around the hour mark.

During the last 30 minutes of the game, Chhangte and Nikhil Poojary formed a productive partnership down the right channel, generating numerous scoring opportunities. However, despite their efforts, the Blue Tigers were unable to convert those chances into goals.

"We showed what we were capable of doing. The most important thing was that we did what we were trying to do on the training pitches, and what the coach asked us to do. That will be very important for us in the coming matches as well," said Chhangte in the post-match press conference.