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SAFF Championship 2023 semifinal: India reaches final, beats Lebanon 4-2 in penalty shootout


In a nail-biting match, India won the match against Lebanon in the SAFF Championship 2023 semifinal on 1 July through a 4-2 penalty shootout. With this, India reached the finals of the tournament. 

India will now face Kuwait in the finals of the tournament, who defeated Bangladesh by a solitary extra-time goal to reach the final of the SAFF Championship.

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Now India will be playing in the final of the regional tournament for the 13th time and ninth on the trot. They have won eight times in the earlier 13 editions. The only time India did not make it to the top two was in 2003.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri, Anwar Ali, Mahesh Singh and Udanta Singh found the back of the net for India in the penalty shootout. While, Lebanon could only score twice through Walid Shour and Mohammad Sadek missing the first and the fourth shot. 

Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu saved the kick from Hassan Maatouk while Khalil Bader’s sailed above the crossbar.

Prior to this, India defeated Lebanon 2-0 in the recent Intercontinental Cup in Odisha, so it was a second successive for India over Lebanon. 

Led by captain Sunil Chhetri, India faced Hassan Maatouk-led Lebanon in the SAFF Championship 2023 semifinal at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.

So far India remained unbeaten, as it began its journey in the tournament with a resounding 4-0 victory over Pakistan, and followed it up with a 2-0 win over Nepal. Though India’s last match ended in a 1-1 draw against Kuwait.

India missed their head coach Igor Stimac as he received a red card in the match against Kuwait.

On the contrary, Lebanon started the tournament with a 2-0 win against Bangladesh, thrashed Bhutan in the next fixture, and recorded a 1-0 win against the Maldives.

With agency inputs.

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Updated: 01 Jul 2023, 11:00 PM IST

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