Football
Chhetri, Chhangte FIRE Blue Tigers to Intercontinental Cup 2023 Glory

Chhetri, Chhangte FIRE Blue Tigers to Intercontinental Cup 2023 Glory

India vs Lebanon LIVE in Intercontinental Cup 2023 Final, Indian Football Team face Cedars, Sunil Chhetri's team drew 0-0 with Cedars in group stage

India vs Lebanon Intercontinental Cup Final: An important victory for India as they defeat Lebanon in the 2023 Intercontinental Cup final with a score of 2-0 for the first time since 1977. Both teams were able to balance each other out in the first half, which ended scoreless, but goals from Sunil Chhetri in the 46th minute and Lallianzuala Chhangte in the 65th minute gave Igor Stimac’s team the victory. It was also a strong defensive performance, as India preserved its sixth straight clean sheet and entered the SAFF Championship in 2023 with assurance.

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Igor Stimac surprised us by switching Amrinder Singh in goal for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Sunil Chhetri starting from the beginning is the other alteration from Stimac’s earlier team against Lebanon because, well, obvious. Udanta Singh advances. Lallianzuala Chhangte might play the right flank again if Ashique Kuruniyan plays down the left wing.

India vs Lebanon: Indian Football Team win the Intercontinental Cup final 2023 with goals from Sunil Chhetri and Chhangte, gear for SAFF 2023

Sahal Abdul Samad should play at the 10 and be followed by Anirudh Thapa and Jeakson Singh in a double pivot. The backline is unchanged, with Nikhil Poojary continuing in the right-back position due to his strong performances.

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The Blue Tigers had a flawless night as Sunil Chhetri and Lalianzuala Chhangte scored a goal each, securing the coveted trophy for India for the first time since 2018. Additionally, India achieved a remarkable milestone with six consecutive clean sheets, a feat not seen since 1950-51.


Lallianzuala Chhangte picked out Nikhil Poojary near the touchline, who, sensationally, returned the ball to him with an exquisite back heel. The Mumbai City winger then sent a low ball across the face of goal for Sunil Chhetri to swiftly tap it in through the legs of Sabeh from point-blank range.

India vs Lebanon: Indian Football Team win the Intercontinental Cup final 2023 with goals from Sunil Chhetri and Chhangte, gear for SAFF 2023

The Blue Tigers, spurred on by the much-needed breakthrough and the incessant cheers of the 12-thousand-strong Kalinga crowd, continued their search for the second goal. Jeakson Singh Thounaojam and Jhingan saw their headers go over the bar from two Thapa corners in quick succession.

India vs Lebanon: Indian Football Team win the Intercontinental Cup final 2023 with goals from Sunil Chhetri and Chhangte, gear for SAFF 2023

There was no stopping the Indian wave as Chhangte made it 2-0 in the 65th minute. Chhetri fed Naorem Mahesh Singh, who had come on as a substitute just five minutes earlier, to have a crack at goal. His low shot was spilled by Sabeh, and Chhangte was the quickest to thump the rebound home.

From then on, it was simple game management from the Blue Tigers, who did not take any unwanted risks and remained alert at the back to preserve their two-goal lead. Perhaps the closest Lebanon came to scoring in the entire game was in the 80th minute when Maatouk skied Mahdi Zein’s cross from six yards out.

India XI

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Nikhil Poojary, Anwar Ali, Sandesh Jhingan, Akash Mishra, Jeakson Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Sunil Chhetri, Ashique Kuruniyan

Lebanon XI

Ali Sabeh (GK), Mohammad El Hayek, Hussein Zein, Mouhammed Ali Dhaini, Hassan Matouk (C), Hassan Saad, Nader Matar, Wahid Chour, Zein Al Abidine Farran, Ali Tneich, Karim Darwich

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