SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015: India beat Afghanistan to win title

India win SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015
Team India win SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 defeating Afghanistan in the finals,
Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media
SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 Finals
03.01.2016

Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala

India 2-1 Afghanistan (2-1 AET, 1-1 after 90 Minutes)

India: Jeje Lalpekhlua(72nd), Sunil Chhetri(101st)
Afghanistan: Zubayr Amiri(70th)


Team India win the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 defeating Afghanistan in the finals 2-1 courtesy of goals from Jeje Lalpekhlua and Sunil Chhetri. In an exciting re-match of last edition's final India defeated Afghanistan to bring back the SAFF Championship. The match was an exciting encounter for the viewers with fantastic end to end game. 

It was the Indian duo of Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua that threatened the most to open the score but the first half ended goalless. 

Jeje came the closest to break the deadlock in the 15th minute when his header deflected off the crossbar. 

In the 33rd minute Sunil Chhetri created space for himself with some neat footwork before seeing his effort being saved by an alert Afghan custodian.

The scoreline read goalless despite some very good attacking threat of Jeje and Sunil while Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was hardly tested.

In the second half, Jeje Lalpekhlua was again unlucky to see his clever chip rattling the woodwork after some good combination play with skipper Sunil Chhetri.

Despite all the heroics of the Indian team, Afghanistan took the lead in the 70th minute with a swift counter-attacking move. Jeje Lalpekhlua was dispossessed off the ball and Afghanistan had numbers and pace to put their side a goal ahead with Zubayr Amiri firing his shot past Gurpreet Singh into the net after latching onto a through ball.

The Blue Tigers however did not let their heads down, finding the reply just after two minutes. Holicharan Narzary's curling cross saw Sunil Chhetri head it cleverly towards Jeje, who glanced the ball past the onrushing Afghani goalkeeper to level the score.

After regulation time, the scoreline remained 1-1 as both teams were in search of the winner in extra time. That title-winning goal came from none other than Indina skipper Sunil Chhetri who continued his fine form scoring his third of the tournament. The Indian captain showed great determination as he lunged onto his marker for a loose ball inside the ball and somehow managing to slot it past the goalkeeper to give India a massive goal in the 101st minute of the game.

Despite some close calls at the end, India managed to get over the line and deservedly so, winning the SAFF Championship 2015 title defeating Afghanistan, who also gave a good fight.

Indian players and Stephen Constantine were delighted with the SAFF Championship 2015 title and ABCDFootball congratulates them for the same.

India starting XI against Afghanistan: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Pritam Kotal, Arnab Mondal (117’ – Aiborlang Khongjee), Augustine Fernandes, Narayan Das; Rowlin Borges, Bikash Jairu (120’ – Sanju Pradhan), Eugeneson Lyngdoh (96’ – Pronoy Halder), Halicharan Narzary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri (C).
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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