India won the SAFF championship title after beating Nepal 3-0 in the final in Male on Saturday to hand Stimac his first trophy as in-charge of the team.
India drew against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in their first two matches which had put them in danger of missing the final but the win against Nepal brought them back in the reckoning.
India have so far scored two goals in the ongoing SAFF Championships and both came through 37-year-old Chhetri.
The Croatian heaped praise on the Indian skipper after the latter's lone strike in the match handed the team three points in the tournament.
The struggle for survival in the regional event tells a lot about which direction the team is headed...
Although the form has favoured Nepal so far at the tournament, Stimac was optimistic about his side's chances of making the final.
The Blue Tigers head coach Igor Stimac has come under fire for India's failure to win enough matches in the recent past and he will be under the pump on Thursday.
SAFF Championship: We are ourselves guilty for not winning against Bangladesh, says Indian football team coach Igor Stimac
India lost the lead to a 10-man Bangladesh as their first match in the SAFF Championship 2021 ended 1-1.
Bangladesh have been a tough customers for India who had needed a late equaliser in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers match in Kolkata to draw 1-1.
After a 1-1 draw in the first friendly, India notched up 2-1 win in the second game against Nepal on Sunday thanks to second-half strikes by Farukh Choudhary and skipper Sunil Chhetri.
Igor Stimac has said ahead of the first 'friendly' against Nepal on September 2 that the games will serve as preparation for the SAFF Championship.
Sunil Chhetri, Pritam Kotal and Sahal Abdul Samad are some of the players who are part of the list.
India will be travelling to Kathmandu later this month to play Nepal in two international friendlies in September.
The All India Football Federation had earlier tried to arrange international friendlies in Europe with countries from Africa and Asia, but the quarantine rules played spoilsport.
The AIFF Technical Committee decided to extend National Team head coach Igor Stimac's contract till September 2022.