India beat Kuwait in penalty shootout to win SAFF Championships title for 9th time


PTI, Jul 5, 2023, 8:04 AM IST

Image credit: Twitter / @IndianFootball

Bengaluru: Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made the difference once again as he saved a crucial penalty kick in the summit clash to help India beat Kuwait 5-4 in the shootout and clinch SAFF Championships title for the ninth time here on Tuesday.

After five rounds of penalty kicks, the scoreline remained 4-4 and sudden death rule was applied.

Mahesh Naorem scored but a diving Sandhu saved Kuwait captain Khaled Hajiah’s shot to the wild celebration of the home fans and at the India dug out.

In the regulation time, Shabaib Al Khaldi had put Kuwait in the lead in the 14th minute before Lallianzuala Chhangte equalised in the 39th minute.

Defending champion India and Kuwait had also played out a 1-1 draw in their last group match.

This was the second time India won in the penalty shootout. They had made it to Tuesday’s summit clash after beating Lebanon 4-2 in penalty shootout in the semifinal on July 1. Sandhu had also made a crucial save in the shootout then.

For India, captain Sunil Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan, Chhangte, Subasish Bose and Mahesh converted while Udanta Singh missed.

Before the shootout drama, Kuwait held a slight edge as they pressed forward for goals often in the first half.

The relentlessness fetched the desired result in the 14th minute. Mobarak Al Faneeni released Abullah Al Bloushi on the left wing with a deft pass. Al Bloushi found Shabaib Al Khaldi inside the box with an accurate cross which the latter slotted past India custodian Sandhu to give Kuwait 1-0 lead.

India could have levelled the scores within a minute but Kuwait goalkeeper Abdul Rahman blocked Chhangte’s long ranger.

But Chhangte, who was named AIFF Men’s Player of the Year on Tuesday, was not to be denied a second time in the 39th minute.

After a lovely exchange of passes between Sahal Abdul Samad and captain Chhetri, the latter found an unmarked Chhangte deep inside the box. Chhangte, India’s energetic No. 12, had little trouble in beating Abdul Rahman to find the equaliser.

It atoned for Chhetri’s failure to score during the regulation time for the second match in a row to an extent.

In the second half, the action continued to flow thick and fast as both India and Kuwait searched for the winner.

Both sides came close to scoring their respective second goals, but unable to do that, as the match moved towards the extra time for the second successive time for both the teams.

The extra time too witnessed frenetic action from both the sides. There were couple of injuries, yellow cards to players and officials of both sides and a slew of corners.

But that the decisive goal did not come through, making a penalty shootout mandatory to pick the winner.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Frank Duckworth, co-inventor of cricket’s DLS Method, passes away

83 killed, over 390 injured in fire in first six months of 2024: Official data

UP cabinet okays Tata Sons’ Rs 650-cr proposal for ‘museum of temples’ in Ayodhya

CM Siddaramaiah says hike in milk prices is proportionate to increase in volume per packet

Karnataka to seek from Centre, same investment incentives given to Gujarat: Minister Priyank Kharge

LS Speaker contest: Om Birla’s challenger once saw his election declared void before SC restored it

KMF’s milk price hike sparks controversy in Karnataka

Related Articles More

Frank Duckworth, co-inventor of cricket’s DLS Method, passes away

David Warner makes low-key exit from international cricket after Afghans beat Bangladesh in T20 WC

Oscar, Emmy? Gulbadin Naib’s cramp during Afghanistan-Bangladesh match sparks controversy

T20WC: Afghanistan qualify for semis after beating Bangladesh by 8 runs in rain-hit Super 8 game

Fifties and hundreds don’t matter, I want to bat with tempo: Rohit Sharma

MUST WATCH

D. K. Shivakumar

Anegudde Sri Vinayaka Temple

bus problem

What are the first signs of a hernia?

Elephantattack


Latest Additions

Frank Duckworth, co-inventor of cricket’s DLS Method, passes away

83 killed, over 390 injured in fire in first six months of 2024: Official data

UP cabinet okays Tata Sons’ Rs 650-cr proposal for ‘museum of temples’ in Ayodhya

Sonakshi, Zaheer share pics from wedding reception: We have so much love protecting us

Darshan case: Murdered Renukaswamy’s parents meet CM Siddaramaiah, seek govt job for wife

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.