India’s men’s football team won the SAFF Championship 2023 in a nail-biting penalty shootout against Kuwait, securing their ninth title in 14 iterations. India’s custodian, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, made a stunning save in the crucial penalty shootout, preventing Kuwait from scoring. The Indian team remains unbeaten throughout the competition, having won over Pakistan and Nepal, drew with Kuwait in the group stage, and defeated Lebanon on penalties in the semifinals and final against Kuwait. The SAFF Championship is a biennial international football competition for South Asian nations, promoting and developing their football.
SAFF Championship final in 2023 – India wins its ninth championship
India, the tournament’s hosts, went undefeated the entire time.
India defeats Kuwait in a nail-biting penalty shootout
In a nail-biting penalty shootout against Kuwait, the Indian men’s football team prevailed 5-4 to win the championship of the SAFF Championship for 2023 at Bengaluru’s Sree Kanteerava Stadium. India is currently ranked 100th in the FIFA rankings and won their ninth SAFF Championship in 14 iterations. After winning the Intercontinental Cup the previous month, they achieved their second victory in a row with this one.
About the penalty shootout
In this evenly-matched game, a 1-1 draw after regulation time signaled the beginning of a penalty shootout. When the score remained tied at 4-4 after five rounds of penalties, the contest entered sudden death. India’s custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu demonstrated exceptional abilities by making a stunning save at this crucial time. Mahesh Naorem successfully scored for India in the meantime, and Gurpreet’s save prevented Kuwait from scoring. With this victory, India has won a record-setting ninth SAFF Championship title overall.
India remains unbeaten throughout the SAFF Championship
The hosts, India, were unbeaten throughout the entire SAFF Championship 2023. They won over Pakistan and Nepal and drew with Kuwait in the group stage. They defeated Lebanon on penalties in the semifinals and accomplished the same feat in a thrilling final against Kuwait. The team also received a cash prize of USD 50,000, or INR 41 lakh, in addition to the medals.
The Kuwaiti football team secured the second position
The Kuwaiti football team won the prize for placing second in the 2023 SAFF Championship. While each player received a medal, the team also received a cheque for US$25,000, equivalent to approximately 20 lacks and 50 thousand in Indian rupees.
Champions of the competition
Award – Recipient
Winner – Indian football team
Highest Goal-Scorer – Sunil Chhetri (6 Goals)
Fairplay Award – Nepal football team
Best Goalkeeper – Anisur Rahman Zico
Most Valuable Player (MVP) – Sunil Chhetri
Runners-up – Kuwait football team
Regarding the SAFF Football Championship
The national teams of South Asian nations compete in the biennial international football competition known as the SAFF Football Championship, also known as the South Asian Football Federation Championship. The region’s football is to be promoted and developed through the championship. Here is a synopsis of SAFF Football Championship history:
1993: The SAFF Championship’s inaugural competition occurred in Lahore, Pakistan. India won the contest by defeating Pakistan in the championship game.