Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

    The Blue Tigers have won the SAFF Championship a record seven times…

    India will hope to bag a record eighth SAFF Championship title on Saturday as they take on Nepal in the final of the tournament at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives.

    Igor Stimac’s side reached the final by finishing at the top of the points table and remained unbeaten in the league stage. After a rough start to their campaign where they were held to back-to-back draws by Bangladesh (1-1) and Sri Lanka (0-0), India came back strongly as they beat Nepal 1-0 and Maldives 3-1 in their last two group matches.

    The last time the two neighbouring countries met, Sunil Chhetri was on target to guide India to a narrow win. The clash in the final will be the fourth match between India and Nepal in the last one and a half months. In September, the two sides faced each other in two international friendly matches in Kathmandu in September. While the first game ended in a goalless draw, Stimac’s boys clinched the second match 2-1.

    This will be the 11th time that India will play in the final of the SAFF Championship. On the previous 10 occasions when India have reached the finals, they have won six times and lost four. In the previous edition of the competition, India had lost 2-1 to Maldives. It must be noted that the Blue Tigers had fielded their U23 side. In the inaugural edition in 1993, SAFF Championship was organised in a round-robin format where India had topped the table and won the title.

    How have India performed in the final of SAFF Championships?

    YearFinal scoreResult
    1995Sri Lanka 1-0 IndiaRunners-up
    1997India 5-1 MaldivesChampion
    1999India 2-0 BangladeshChampion
    2005India 2-0 BangladeshChampion
    2008Maldives 1-0 IndiaRunners-up
    2009India (0-0) 3-1 MaldivesChampion
    2011India 4-0 AfghanistanChampion
    2013Afghanistan 2-0 IndiaRunners-up
    2015India 2-1 AfghanistanChampion
    2018Maldives 2-1 IndiaRunners-up
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