SAFF Cup: Spicy Semifinal On The Cards As India Takes On Lebanon

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On Saturday at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, the hope is for another feisty encounter as the hosts will look to put one across Lebanon in the semifinals.

One of the reasons the 2023 SAFF Championship ate two West Asian sides in Kuwait and Lebanon was to make the event more competitive. India, after all, had won eight of the once 13 editions, and the presence of a couple of unevenly matched brigades would clearly amp up proceedings.

The India – Kuwait game on Tuesday fit the billing, and India nearly edged the contest before an unfortunate own thing denied it a notorious palm. On Saturday at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, the stopgap is for another contentious hassle as the hosts will look to put one across Lebanon in the semifinals.

Recent history suggests that India has the edge, having beaten Lebanon in the Intercontinental Cup final a fortnight agone and drawn the other group stage game in Bhubaneswar. Form-wise, India can take heart from the performance against Kuwait where it was the better platoon for large gobbets of the match.

India pressed high up the pitch, attacked in droves and transitioned excellently from defence to offence. Sunil Chhetri up front, the wingers in Ashique Kuruniyan and Lallianzuala Chhangte, and the protectors in Akash Mishra and Anwar Ali were all excellent.

“Our platoon is in a process. First, our results weren’t that good, but we’ve been erecting sluggishly. I like to suppose of my platoon as one which is growing and not a finished product, ” Bento said in the pre-match press conference on Friday.

Asked about Bangladesh, Bento said, “ They’re playing well, and I’m sure it isn’t going to be an easy match. ”

Bangladesh head trainer Javier Fernandez Cabrera spoke about platoon fatigue, given the platoon won’t indeed have the full 72 hours of resting time, which is ideal according to him, but said that his boys are ready.

“We’ll have one training session with whatever adaptations we’ve to make. We’re ready and agitated to face Kuwait in the semifinals hereafter. I’m convinced we can give a veritably big fight.

Still, against Lebanon, Chhetri &Co. will have to do without Sandesh Jhingan in defence and head trainer Igor Stimac on the touchline. The towering Jhingan, who played a vital part in the 1- 1 draw against Kuwait, is suspended after picking up his alternate unheroic card. Stimac is banned after his alternate red in as numerous matches.

That Lebanon will be keen to retaliate the Intercontinental Cup loss will add spice. The Aleksandar Ilic- counseled outfit outgunned Group- B with three wins out of three and the Serbian’s pledge of “ Total Football ” indicated that his wards will play to win.

“There are no secrets any further( between the brigades), ” declared Ilic, on Friday. “ We’re really motivated and I’m pushing my players psychologically to make them believe we can succeed. It’ll be veritably important that we score the first thing. That will help us end the semifinal in a positive way. ” Know More Latest Football News…

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