India Beats Kuwait to Win its Ninth SAFF Championship Title

India Beats Kuwait to Win its Ninth SAFF Championship Title

The Indian men’s football team beat Kuwait 5-4 in a penalty shootout to win the SAFF Championship 2023 title at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on July 4.

With the win, India has won its ninth SAFF Championship in 14 editions. This was India’s second silverware on the trot after winning the Intercontinental Cup in June. The Indian team is ranked 100th in the latest FIFA rankings.

In regulation time, the newly-crowned AIFF Player of the Year Lallianzuala Chhangte (39’) had equalised for India after Shabaib Al Khaldi (14’) had given the Kuwait football team the early lead. Regulation time ended with scores level at 1-1, forcing the match into extra time.

Both teams had several chances to clinch the match in the extra time, but neither could score the decisive goal, pushing the final towards a penalty shootout. Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved a crucial penalty kick in the summit clash to help India beat Kuwait 5-4 in the shootout. Kuwait’s captain Hajjeia missed the decisive spotkick in sudden death.

In previous matches, the Indian football team beat Lebanon in the semi-finals after finishing the group stage with wins over Pakistan and Nepal while drawing against Kuwait.