SAFF Championship: India won the title for the 9th time by defeating Kuwait, thrilling final ended in penalty shootout
The SAFF Championship final match between India and Kuwait ended on a thrilling note at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The match ended 5-4 in India‘s favor in a thrilling round of penalty shoot-out.
With this, the Indian team has managed to win this tournament for the 9th time. However, Kuwait’s game has to be commended as they are the debutant team of this tournament.
Team India, which came in 100th place in the FIFA rankings, was in front of Kuwait, which was ranked 141st. Earlier, India played a 1-1 draw with Kuwait in the group stage. India had secured second place in Group A by defeating Pakistan and Nepal. Kuwait was in the first place.
In the final match, both the teams scored 1-1 in the first half but after that there was no goal. After 90 minutes of play, there was no goal in the game that reached extra time, so the result of the match came through a penalty shootout.
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The match started strongly for Kuwait, when Shabib Al Khaledi opened his team’s account by scoring in the 14th minute. But India also equalized the score at 1-1 during the first half thanks to Lallianzuala Changte’s goal in the 38th minute. This scoreline continued throughout the match.
Kuwait and India were tied 4-4 on five hits each at the start of the penalty shootout, but Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu once again came to the rescue. He made India the champion by stopping Kuwait’s captain from hitting the goal post.
Earlier, defending champions India had won the tournament by defeating Nepal 2-0 in the last edition and this time they managed to defend the title.