• Sat. Apr 20th, 2024

SAFF Championship: India Beat Lebanon 4-2 on Penalties to Enter Final. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu hailed as hero.

SAFF Championship: India defeated Lebanon 4-2 on penalties to enter the final of the SAFF Championship 2023 on Saturday. The match was goalless after extra time, and India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved two penalties in the shootout to help his team to victory.

India had the better of the chances in the first half, but they were unable to find the breakthrough. Lebanon came out stronger in the second half, but they too were unable to score. The match went into extra time, and neither team was able to find a winner.

In the penalty shootout, India were flawless. Sunil Chhetri, Anwar Ali, Mahesh Singh, and Udanta Singh all scored their penalties, while Sandhu saved two from Khalil Bader and Lebanon captain Hassan Maatouk.

India will now face Kuwait in the final of the SAFF Championship on Tuesday. The two teams have already met twice in this tournament, with India winning both matches.

The victory is a major boost for Indian football. It is the team’s second consecutive appearance in the SAFF Championship final, and it will give them a lot of confidence ahead of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers later this year.

SAFF Championship Match highlights:

  • Sunil Chhetri had a chance to open the scoring in the first half, but his shot was saved by Lebanon goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil.
  • India had several other chances in the first half, but they were unable to capitalize.
  • Lebanon came out stronger in the second half, but they too were unable to score.
  • The match went into extra time, and neither team was able to find a winner.
  • In the penalty shootout, India were flawless. Sunil Chhetri, Anwar Ali, Mahesh Singh, and Udanta Singh all scored their penalties, while Sandhu saved two from Khalil Bader and Hassan Maatouk.

Also Read: ODI World Cup 2023: West Indies fails to Qualify. Chris Gayle calls it a sad day for West Indies cricket.

The penalty shootout was a tense affair, with both teams scoring their first two penalties. The match came down to the fourth penalty, and it was India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu who came up big. He saved Khalil Bader’s penalty, giving Udanta Singh the chance to win the match for India. Udanta made no mistake, scoring his penalty to give India a 4-2 victory.

SAFF Championship goal-by-goal account of the penalty shootout:

  • India: Sunil Chhetri scores.
  • Lebanon: Hassan Maatouk misses.
  • India: Anwar Ali scores.
  • Lebanon: Walid Shour scores.
  • India: Mahesh Singh Naorem scores.
  • Lebanon: Mohammad Sadek scores.
  • India: Udanta Singh scores.
  • Lebanon: Khalil Bader misses (saved by Sandhu).

Here are some of the key takeaways from the penalty shootout:

  • Sandhu was the hero of the match. He made two saves in the penalty shootout, and he was a commanding presence in goal throughout the match.
  • India’s penalty takers were clinical. They all scored their penalties, and they never looked nervous.
  • India is now one step away from winning their second consecutive SAFF Championship title. They will face a tough test against Kuwait in the final, but they have shown that they are capable of beating any team in the tournament.

Here are some of the reactions to the India vs Lebanon penalty shootout:

Sunil Chhetri: 

“It was a tough match, but we are happy to have won. We will now focus on the final.”

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu: 

“I am happy to have saved the penalty. It was a team effort, and I am proud of the way we played.”

Udanta Singh: 

“It was a great feeling to score the winning penalty. We are now one step away from winning the title, and we are determined to win it.”

The India vs Lebanon penalty shootout was a thrilling affair, and it was a fitting end to a closely fought match. India will now face Kuwait in the final, and they will be hoping to win their second consecutive SAFF Championship title.

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