SAFF Championship 2023: India’s Last-Minute Struggle to Score Second Goal Ends in a 1-1 Draw against Kuwait
In their final group match of the SAFF Championship, India faced Kuwait on Tuesday. Despite the impressive performance by Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. India will now move on to face Lebanon in the semi-finals.
Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for India with a goal in injury time during the first half. However, Kuwait managed to equalize in the second half.
Prior to this match, India had suffered defeats against Pakistan and Nepal in their previous encounters. They defeated Pakistan 4-0 and Nepal 2-0.
The last group match between India and Kuwait in Group A of the SAFF Championship remained goalless until the 24th minute. In the 45+2nd minute, Captain Sunil Chhetri showcased his brilliance and scored a fantastic goal to give India the lead.
Captain Sunil Chhetri’s outstanding performance kept India ahead until halftime with a score of 1-0. With this goal, Chhetri has now matched Ali Ashfaq’s record of 23 goals in the SAFF Championship. Additionally, Chhetri scored his 92nd goal for the Indian team. This season, it marks the fifth goal for the Indian captain.
In the second half, Kuwait exerted pressure on the Indian team and eventually managed to equalize. Anwar Ali scored an own goal in the 92nd minute, resulting in India’s 1-0 lead being nullified and the match concluding in a draw.
Coach Igor Stimac receives a red card During the second half of the match, India’s head coach Igor Stimac received a red card for engaging in an argument with the match officials. This marks the second red card he has received in the tournament. The referee showed him the red card in the 81st minute. Stimac had previously received a red card during the match against Pakistan. Furthermore, India’s Rahim Ali and Kuwait’s Al Kallaf were also shown red cards.
“We made a great deal of changes in the last game to ensure we have everyone fit, prepared and spurred,” Stimac told AIFF, in front of the Kuwait match. “Against Nepal, we didn’t execute the principal half well as we didn’t stay on track.
“We weren’t checking firmly and winning aeronautical duels. We changed a couple of things, and the last part worked flawlessly. A few exceptional maneuvers and passing,” the Croat added.
India and Kuwait haven’t met lately, so there isn’t any insight to draw upon. The past tie was as a matter of fact a well disposed way back in 2010 in Abu Dhabi which the West Asians won by a monstrous 9-1 edge.
The India of today might want to trust it’s obviously superior to that outcome. Tuesday is an opportunity to demonstrate that to a trendy Indian crowd.