Monday, July 22
india vs lebanon

India triumphs over Lebanon in a thrilling encounter: Sunil Chhetri and his teammates secure a 4-2 victory

India vs Lebanon Live: Sensational Scenes Unfold in Bengaluru INDIA SECURES FINAL SPOT!

A remarkable demonstration of resilience and poise by the Indian football team has propelled them into the finals. When the stakes were high and the game reached a penalty shootout, Sunil Chhetri and his teammates rose to the occasion.

These are glorious days for Indian football, and it is truly a time to savor and appreciate. The Indian men’s team has a remarkable opportunity to secure consecutive trophies as they advance to the final of the SAFF Championship 2023. They achieved this feat by triumphing over Lebanon in a gripping penalty shootout, concluding with a 4-2 victory at Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava Stadium.

Despite an intense battle lasting over 120 minutes, neither team managed to break the deadlock. India displayed impeccable accuracy in the penalty shootout, with Sunil Chhetri, Anwar Ali, Naoren Mahesh Singh, and Udanta Singh converting their chances flawlessly. Lebanon faced a setback as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved their captain Hassan Maatouk’s penalty, while Khalik Bader sent his shot over the crossbar, ultimately sealing India’s triumph in the semifinal.

This recent victory against Lebanon marks the second time in just two weeks that India has overcome their opponents, following their 2-0 victory in the Intercontinental Cup final in Bhubaneswar. In the final of the SAFF Championship, India will face Kuwait, who secured a 1-0 win against Bangladesh in the other semifinal.

For this crucial match, India made five changes to their lineup. Notably, Naoren Mahesh Singh, who has impressed throughout the tournament, and Akash Mishra were on the bench. The starting eleven featured Gurpreet in goal, along with Ashique Kuruniyan, Subhasish Bose, Pritam Kotal, and Mehtab Singh. Sandesh Jhingan was absent due to suspension, while head coach Igor Stimac served a two-match ban and observed the game from the stands.

Lebanon began the match brightly, creating a few promising opportunities in the initial ten minutes. However, India grew into the game and came close to scoring the opening goal when Chhetri sent Jeakson Singh through with a precise pass. Unfortunately, Singh passed the ball to Sahal Abdul Samad, who was in an offside position. Lebanon’s Maatouk posed a threat with a freekick, but Gurpreet made a crucial save to deny him.

The second half turned into a scrappy affair, but Lebanon had a golden opportunity when Maatouk found himself one-on-one with Gurpreet. However, his shot missed the target by a considerable margin. India created a few half-chances but failed to find the back of the net.

During extra time, India raised their intensity. With Mahesh on the field alongside Udanta, India’s attacking play improved, particularly from the wings. Chhetri had a couple of opportunities from the center of the box but couldn’t convert them into goals. Lebanon struggled to create significant chances during extra time, and just before the penalty shootout, they replaced their goalkeeper, bringing in Ali Sabeh for Mehdi Khalil. However, the substitution did not prove fruitful, as India converted all their penalties. Gurpreet’s exceptional save provided India with an advantage, leading them to victory when Bader missed his spot-kick.

Following the triumph, India’s assistant coach Mahesh Gawli expressed his thoughts, saying, “In the first 15 minutes, we were a bit sloppy. However, after that, we dominated the match. The intensity remained consistent throughout the full 120 minutes. Credit goes to the boys for their exceptional performance. We played really well and controlled the game. If we had converted the chances we created, the scoreline could have been 3-0 or 4-0 in our favor.”