King’s Cup 2023: ‘Robbed’ of ultimate berth, India assured of beating Lebanon in third-place match

Heartbroken however head held excessive after its penalty shootout loss to Iraq within the semifinals, India would look to proceed its current domination towards Lebanon when it faces off within the third-place match of Kings Cup right here on Sunday.

India was simply 10 minutes away from recording its maiden win over higher-ranked Iraq however the West Asian nation equalised (2-2) although a debatable penalty after which went on to win the semifinal match 5-4 on shootout.

Head coach Igor Stimac had lashed out on the referee for “robbing” India of a victory. Captain Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was additionally essential of the eightieth minute penalty awarded to Iraq after its striker Ghadhban was squeezed by two Indian defenders contained in the field throughout a high-ball tussle.

India will, nevertheless, achieve a number of confidence from the feisty struggle towards seventieth ranked Iraq and the world quantity 99 Stimac’s aspect will hope to log out the match with a win and finish at third place.

India and Lebanon has performed towards one another 3 times this 12 months and Stimac’s aspect has received twice — although one was through penalty shootout within the SAFF Cup semifinal.

Within the Intercontinental Cup in June, India had crushed Lebanon 2-0 within the ultimate after enjoying out a 0-0 draw within the league stage.

It’ll, nevertheless, not be a simple outing for India towards Lebabon, which misplaced to host Thailand 1-2 within the different semifinal on Thursday, however Stimac’s boys will fancy their probabilities contemplating their current success.

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There may be nothing to separate the 2 groups when it comes to FIFA rankings as India is ranked 99th whereas Lebanon is at 100.

Regardless of the absence of inspirational captain and striker Sunil Chhetri, the Indians did a commendable job upfront towards Iraq. India’s first aim scored by Mahesh Naorem, after a superb cross by Sahal Abdul Samad, was a category act.

India was on the defensive within the second a part of the primary half however it held on to its personal within the subsequent 45 minutes towards the Iraqis who have been Asian Cup champions in 2017.

Stimac had mentioned after the Iraq match via social media {that a} time will come when “even referees won’t be able to cease my boys successful such video games”.

Sandhu, on his half, urged his team-mates to construct on the efficiency towards Iraq.

“It’s a tough end result to digest, we may’ve received the sport. The second penalty was questionable. However we did significantly better than what folks would have thought.

“We simply have to imagine in ourselves, a bit extra affected person and optimistic. We additionally want to verify we don’t give away alternatives to opponents even when it appears prefer it’s one thing out of our management.” India had already claimed two third-place finishes within the match, together with the latest one in 2019.

Host Thailand will face Iraq within the summit conflict.

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