India are all set to take on Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship 2023. The match is scheduled to be held on July 4 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru and it will begin at 7:30 PM IST.
India will look to conquer their second championship on the trot following the Hero Intercontinental Cup victory a couple of weeks ago. However, Igor Stimac’s men will have to face a stern test against formidable challengers in Kuwait.
The two sides had squared off in a group-stage match last week. India were leading 1-0 throughout the ill-tempered match that saw three people including head coach Stimac get sent off. However, a late Anwar Ali in possibly the final action of the match saw Kuwait deny India another victory and the game ended 1-1 with tempers flaring in both camps.
Although that game was remembered more for the acrimony and off-field collision than incidents on the pitch, the expectation surrounding the final remains jubilant and hopefully, football will have the final say. Both India and Kuwait are arriving into the summit clash having played a massive number of games in recent times.
This will be India’s ninth match in the space of the month and it will be the sixth game for Kuwait within that same timespan. The players also had to toil hard in their respective semifinals, needing 120 minutes and more to beat Lebanon and Bangladesh. Fatigue can be one of the deciding factors.
India failed to get past Lebanon, the side that they had defeated in the final of the Intercontinental Cup a while ago, within regulated time in their semi-final clash. Eventually, they managed to seal a 4-2 win on penalties with Gurpreet proving decisive. Meanwhile, Abdullah Buloshi’s 105th minute goal in extra time helped Kuwait book their spot in the final 1-0 at the expense of Bangladesh.
The chance to add more silverware to their collection is expected to further inspire the drooped shoulders. Kuwait hasn’t secured a trophy since the 2010 Arabian Gulf Cup and a success here will help overcome the pain of losing an entire generation of footballers when FIFA suspended the nation for more than two years (October 2015 to December 2017).
Elsewhere, a second winners’ medal following the Intercontinental victory recently will definitely boost India’s morale as they built up to the AFC Asian Cup 2023. The fact that India hasn’t lost a match in four outings against good West Asian sides in Lebanon and Kuwait, and conceded only through an own goal, are noteworthy.
Credit for that should go to India’s defence, which has kept nine clean-sheets from the last 10 matches. Even a rejigged backline, marshalled by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, held firm against Lebanon.
Where to watch India vs Kuwait SAFF Championship 2023 Final live in India?
The live streaming for India vs Kuwait in the SAFF Championship 2023 Final will be available on Fancode in India.
The broadcast of the SAFF Championship 2023 Final between India and Kuwait will be on the DD Bharati TV Channel in India.
India vs Pakistan SAFF Championship 2023 live match start time
As per Indian Standard Time (IST)
|July 4, Tuesday||India vs Kuwait||Sree Kanteerava Stadium , Bengaluru||7:30 PM|
India vs Kuwait Head-to-Head Record:
The two countries have played four matches against each other. Kuwait lead the head-to-head record with two victories while India have won only once. The two sides have also shared spoils on one occasion.
Matches Played: 4
India Won: 1
Kuwait Won: 2
India and Kuwait had clashed against each other in the group stage of the SAFF Championship 2023. That match ended in a 1-1 draw where both sides saw three red cards.
India vs Kuwait Predicted Lineups:
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK); Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra; Anirudh Thapa, Jeakson Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Naorem Mahesh, Ashique Kruniyan, Lallianzualla Changte.
Kuwait: Abd Al Rahman Kameel (GK), Hassan Hamdan Al-Enezi, Khaled Ebrahim Hajiah, Hamad Al Harbi, Abdullah Al Baloushi, Fawaz Ayedh, Ali Matar, Mobarak Al-Faneni, Ali Muhaisen, Eid Al-Rashidi, and Salman Al Awadi.