India lifted the Intercontinental Cup as they defeated a young and determined Lebanon side 2-0 at the Kalinga Stadium. India got off to a slow start, struggling to break down their opponents’ defensive setup. Despite creating a few openings in the first half, they were unable to convert them into goals. However, they stepped up their game in the second half, with two goals from substitute Ashique Kuruniyan proving to be the difference.
The first goal came in the 68th minute when Ashique’s shot beat Lebanon goalkeeper Mehdi Khalil. This was soon followed by a second in the 73rd minute which sealed victory for India. The match saw India’s dogged defence standing firm against Lebanon’s attacking threat, ensuring that they kept a clean sheet.
The Indian team were ecstatic after the victory, with captain Sunil Chhetri expressing his delight at winning the trophy. He said, “I’m overjoyed that we have been able to lift the Intercontinental Cup in front of our home fans. We knew it would be a tough game and we had to stay focused throughout. We managed to do that and I’m proud of the team’s performance.”
The victory is an important one for India, as it now gives them a platform to compete in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. Sunil also added, “We have shown what we can do on the international stage and are now ready to take on tougher opponents. It’s time for us to take Indian football to the next level.”
The win in the Intercontinental Cup will certainly give India a boost in confidence as they look forward to competing at the highest level. With this victory, India have shown that they can compete against any team and are capable of playing attractive football.