Defending champions India and gritty Kuwait meet in a thrilling final of the 2023 SAFF Championship on Wednesday.
IND vs KUW Match Details
Date: Wednesday, 04 July 2023
Time: 19:30 (IST)
Venue: Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
IND vs KUW Viewing Details
The match between India and Kuwait will be telecasted on DD Sport with live streaming available on the FanCode app.
IND vs KUW Match Preview
India’s senior men’s team are on the verge of making a hat trick of titles won on home soil as they look to retain their SAFF Championship honour. Stimac’s side, without the coach on the touchline again, will face Kuwait in the battle for the prize. The team from the Middle East was India’s counterpart in the group stages as well and also snapped the clean sheet record of the host albeit with an unfortunate own goal from Anwar Ali. That stoppage time gifted equalizer ended the match 1-1 with Sunil Chhetri giving the lead on the stroke of halftime. Tempers flared in the match with Igor Stimac and Rahim Ali both shown red and Hamad Al Qallaf of Kuwait also given his marching orders. The incidents on that evening make the final far more interesting. There was a lot of nerves in the semifinal against Lebanon too but Gurpreet Singh’s heroics and the rest’s composure from the spot in the shoo6tout helped them progress to the final. The match ended scoreless after extra-time with both sides creating chances to score. The Blue Tigers will now hope to maintain their 10-match unbeaten streak and register their first competitive win over Kuwait for the trophy.
Al-Azraq also had a tight affair with Bangladesh in their semifinals but managed to edge them with an extra-time goal from right-back Al Buloushi. The game was heated as well with red cards brandished towards the staff of the losing side, a recurring theme in the tournament. Kuwait entered the knockouts topping their group containing India with Nepal and Pakistan filling up the rest. Like the Blue Tigers, they achieved victories in their first two matches before drawing with the holders. The invited nation, alongside Lebanon, has been a force to be reckoned with like the hosts. So, in all aspects, this is a clash between the two dominating sides in the tournament for the final showdown. Kuwait are in fine form, not losing any of their last nine matches and scoring every time in that period. Their defence have also stood strong with only six conceded since the start of the year with two in this tournament. Carrying a stellar record of three wins out of four meetings against India, they will be optimistic about their chances of taking the cup home.
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IND vs KUW Team News
Both head coach Igor Stimac and forward Rahim Ali are suspended for the final having sent off against the same opposition in the third group stage match. Sandesh Jhingan will be returning to defence after sitting out the semifinal tie with Lebanon for accumulating too many yellow cards. Changes are expected in the full-back regions and Udanta Singh might start over Lallianzuala Chhangte making an impact off the bench last time.
IND vs KUW Predicted Lineups
IND: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Anwar Ali, Akash Mishra; Anirudh Thapa, Jeakson Singh, Sahal Abdul Samad; Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri, Naorem Mahesh
KUW: Abdulrahman Kameel; Al Buloushi, El Ebrahim, Al Enezi, Ali Muhaisen; Al Otaibi, Al Harbi, Ali Khalaf; Al Rashedi, Al Awadi, Al Faneeni
IND vs KUW Head to Head
Played - 3
India won - 1
Draws - 1
Kuwait won - 2
IND vs PAK Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Gurpreet (7.5)
DEF: Buloushi (9), Anwar (8), Jhingan (8.5), Ebrahim (9)
MID: Al Fnaini (9), Thapa (9), Mahesh (8)
FW: Udanta (7.5), Chhetri (9), Rasheedi (8.5)
Captain: Sunil Chhetri
Vice-captain: Anirudh Thapa