The toppers of group A are going to meet agains. But this time stakes are much higher. India play Afghanistan today in the final match of SAFF Championship 2011 at 6 pm IST in Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi.
In their first encounter, Afghanistan snatched a draw from India. They kept frustrating India throughout the match and hardly gave any chances or openings. From their, Afghanistan went on to thrash Bhutan by a record 8-1 margin. Not only that, they beat Nepal in the semi-final and for the first time in the history of SAFF Cup, they entered the final.
India having faltered in the 1st match itself needed only one match against Bhutan to come back strong. The football they played in Sri Lanka and Maldives match was top class. They have created multiple chances so far and scored from only a fraction of them. Sunil Chhetri is in top form after Rangers FC trial. Having scored 6 goals, he is in contention with Afghanistan’s Belal Arezou for the highest scorer title. Meanwhile, India coach Savio Medeira has analyzed the Afghanistan vs India match video and found the lapses in Indian game. He identified 3 players as potential threats- Djelaludin Sharityar, Belal Arezou and Haroon Fakruddin. Shartiyar is the one who stopped all the thwarts to their defence while the other two have a sudden burst of speed in them. Belal has already proven himself as a goal-poacher.
India are definetly favourites in the match. But Afghanistan Kargar coach is confident of an upset. He says,
What has happened before is past. There is no need to look back. India is the strongest team in the region. But we have shown that we are no pushovers
India will go with the same line up into the match that has been playin for the last 3 matches
Indian Team Line-Up: Karanjit Singh (GK); Syed Rahim Nabi, Mahesh Gawli, Gouramangi Singh, Nirmal Chettri; Clifford Miranda, Climax Lawrence (C), Rocus Lamare, Anthony Periera, Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua
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