Karnataka: Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava Stadium is bracing itself for an intense showdown as the Indian men’s football team prepares to face Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship 2023 on Tuesday. The highly anticipated match will be live-streamed, allowing fans across the globe to witness the action unfold.
Defending champions India, who secured a resounding victory against Nepal in the summit clash of the previous edition in 2021, are eyeing their ninth SAFF Championship title. The team, led by the seasoned Sunil Chhetri, will be looking to achieve back-to-back triumphs after clinching the Intercontinental Cup just last month.
Having recently climbed to 100th place in the latest FIFA rankings, India will be facing the 141st-ranked Kuwait football team for the second time in the SAFF Championship 2023. In the group stage, Igor Stimac’s men played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Kuwait.
India’s journey in the tournament has been impressive so far. They kicked off their campaign with a convincing 4-0 victory over arch-rivals Pakistan and followed it up with a 2-0 win against Nepal, securing second place in Group A behind Kuwait. It is worth noting that Kuwait, along with Lebanon, were invited to participate in this regional tournament for the first time.
In the crucial final, India will heavily rely on the leadership and prowess of captain Sunil Chhetri. The 38-year-old forward has been in exceptional form, scoring five goals in four matches, including a memorable hat-trick against arch-rivals Pakistan. Furthermore, defender Sandesh Jhingan, who missed the semi-final clash against Lebanon due to suspension, will make a triumphant return to bolster India’s defence ahead of the grand finale.
Kuwait, under the guidance of coach Rui Bento, has also displayed impressive performances enroute to the final. They secured a hard-fought 1-0 victory in extra time against Bangladesh, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament. In their earlier matches, Kuwait defeated Nepal 3-1 and routed Pakistan 4-0, capping off their group stage campaign with a draw against India.
For Kuwait, the top goal scorer in the tournament has been Mobarak Al-Faneeni, who has netted two goals in four matches. His contributions will be crucial as Kuwait seeks to challenge India’s stronghold on the SAFF Championship title.
As the stage is set for an enthralling showdown, football fans around the world eagerly anticipate the final clash between India and Kuwait. The Sree Kanteerava Stadium will undoubtedly witness a display of skill, determination, and passion as both teams vie for glory in the SAFF Championship 2023 final.