Indian men’s football team gears up to face Iraq in the semi-finals of the King’s Cup 2023 tournament. The highly anticipated showdown is scheduled for Thursday at 4:00 p.m. Indian Standard Time (IST) and will be available for live streaming.
The King’s Cup, an annual international football tournament hosted by Thailand since 1968, has reached its 49th edition. This year’s competition features a knockout format, with matches taking place from September 7 to 10. The 700th Anniversary Stadium in Chiang Mai, Thailand, will be the stage for all the thrilling action.
In the other semi-final, host nation Thailand, ranked 100th in the world, will face off against Lebanon, currently positioned 100th in the FIFA rankings. The winners of the semi-final clashes will battle for glory in the final, set to take place on September 10. Additionally, the two losing semifinalists will engage in a third-place playoff to determine the bronze medalist.
This tournament marks the Indian men’s football team’s fourth appearance in the King’s Cup. Their last participation in 2019 saw them narrowly miss the finals, succumbing to Curacao in the semi-finals but rallying to secure a 1-0 victory against Thailand in the third-place playoff. The Blue Tigers also clinched bronze in 1977.
The upcoming match against Iraq carries added significance as it pits India against the highest-ranked team in this edition of the tournament. The two nations last faced each other in a friendly match in 2010, where India suffered a 2-0 defeat.
Under the guidance of coach Igor Stimac, India’s last international appearance was in the SAFF Championship final against Kuwait in July, a thrilling match that ended with India winning 5-4 on penalties. However, this time, India will have to face the challenge without their talismanic captain, Sunil Chhetri, who is unavailable due to personal reasons.
The King’s Cup 2023 serves as a crucial tune-up for the Indian team ahead of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China, starting on September 23. Football enthusiasts can catch the live streaming of the King’s Cup 2023 on FIFA Plus TV, while the tournament will be telecast live in India on the Eurosport TV channel.
King’s Cup 2023 schedule and live match start times (IST):
September 7, Thursday: Iraq vs. India, 4:00 PM IST
Thailand vs. Lebanon, 7:00 PM IST
September 10, Sunday:
Third-place playoff: 4:00 PM IST
Final: 7:00 PM IST.