India vs Lebanon live: updates, live scores, commentary from King’s Cup 2023


India face Lebanon to decide who finishes third in the 2023 edition of the King’s Cup on Sunday, September 10 at 4 PM. The short tournament will see Iraq (who beat India 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 in regulation time) and hosts Thailand (who got the better of Lebanon 2-1) face off in the final later in the evening.

India’s impressive form in 2023 has continued in this tournament, where despite the shootout loss to Iraq they held their own and took the lead twice in regulation time. In fact, the two goals they conceded were both penalties as they restricted the number of open play chances the more fancied Iraq side could create.

Coach Igor Stimac was pleased with the performance: “I was very happy with our boys’ efforts and performance against a much higher-ranked side like Iraq. We gave a good fight. We were in the lead twice. You could clearly see that Iraq had more quality in their team, but in the end, we deserved more out of the game. Even though we have fewer chances, we can still score and get the most out of the game.”

On Sunday he and his team face an opponent they know all too well. In 2023 alone India and Lebanon have played each other thrice and they’ve all been pretty tight encounters between two very evenly matched teams. In the Intercontinental Cup group stages, they drew 0-0 before India triumphed 2-0 in the tournament final. They then met a month later in the semifinals of the SAFF Championships, and a game that ended 0-0 was won 5-4 on penalties by India.

Their overall head-to-head is beautifully poised too… India have won 3, Lebanon have won 3 and they have drawn another 3.

Igor Stimac said, in his pre-match press conference, that this familiarity made his job easier: “”It’s now a regular competition between India and Lebanon. The fourth match in three months. We know each other very well. There is no secret. So for us coaches, it’s a much easier job. No need to analyse the opponents too much. It’s just about concentrating and focusing on our own game, our players, and how to be effective on the pitch in 90 minutes.”

The man in the opposite dugout, Aleksander Ilic, is a former club teammate of Stimac’s and he echoed his mate’s views: “It has started to become a strange competition between the two teams. We’ve already played a lot of games in the past. It will be one open game and, of course, both teams will try their best to succeed.”

With this being the last proper tune-up match before Stimac takes India to the Huangzhou Asian Games, you could expect them to come out all guns blazing. “We can expect an open game,” he said. “I’m just asking my players to be creative on the pitch and enjoy and celebrate football when they come out on the pitch. I don’t want to put pressure on them at any time with regard to the result. It will be a joy for football, I hope.”

ESPN will run a live blog right here, as we build up to the match, as well as minute-by-minute commentary once it kicks off.

(Please wait a few seconds for the blog to load. Please click here if it doesn’t.)

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *