SUNIL CHHETRI – Man of the Match, Top scorer and Most Valuable Player of the Tournament

A clean sweep of awards by the Indian captain.

Full time, India 3-0 Nepal: One of India’s best halves under Igor Stimac. Everything went their way. Sunil Chhetri once again leads the way but what a performance from the likes of Suresh Singh, Apuia and Yasir. Sahal with the perfect finish.

A quick snippet from Sunil Chhetri: Says he is pleased for all the young players who have done well. Said none of the games were easy and has words of praise for all the teams India played. Adds that he is happy the team were able to put in a dominant performance to win.

FT: India 3-0 Nepal

INDIA ARE SAFF CHAMPIONSHIP WINNERS for the EIGHTH time in history. An emphatic performance in the second half sees them run out 3-0 winners. Sunil Chhetri once again on the scoresheet. Suresh Singh and Sahal getting the other two goals.

90’ India 3-0 Nepal

GOOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL! SAHAL with a beautiful goal! He dances his way past the Nepal defenders to seal a wonderful win for India.

79’ India 2-0 Nepal

CHANCE FOR INDIA! Udanta runs into the space behind the Nepal defence but takes too much time to pass or shoot allowing the Nepal defender to catch up and make a tackle.

79’ India 2-0 Nepal

CHANCE FOR INDIA! Udanta runs into the space behind the Nepal defence but takes too much time to pass or shoot allowing the Nepal defender to catch up and make a tackle.

77’ India 2-0 Nepal

OFF THE BAR! Nepal nearly pull one back as a flicked header floats over Gurpreet before bouncing out off the crossbar. India need to regain control of the ball.

73’ India 2-0 Nepal

Dangerous cross from a free-kick from Anirudh Thapa. But it evades the Indian forwards before Limbu punches it away.

67’ India 2-0 Nepal

Great run by Chhetri at the heart of the Nepal defence but his effort is well saved by Limbu. India enjoying plenty of spaces on the counter now as Nepal push forward to get a goal that will get them back into the game.

55’ India 2-0 Nepal

India with their tails up. Nepal are rattled and Manvir Singh almost makes it three.

50’ India 2-0 Nepal

GOOOOOOOOOOAAALLLLLL! SURESH WANGJAM! Nepal opened up from the right side again as Yasir’s cutback is expertly put away by Suresh Wangjam. India in control!

48’ India 1-0 Nepal

GOOOOOOOOOOAAALLLLLL! SUNIL CHHETRI, WHO ELSE! Almost a carbon copy of the chance he missed before half time. This time he heads the Pritam Kotal cross into the net. India lead

46’ India 0-0 Nepal

Second half begins. No changes to the Indian side.

HT: India 0-0 Nepal

HT: India 0-0 Nepal

It’s goalless at the break. India have dominated possession but have nothing much to show for it apart from a Chhetri chance late in the first half. The rain has not made it easy for both sides but a fairly dull first half in Male.

44’ India 0-0 Nepal

CHANCE! Chhetri makes a great diagonal run across the face of the goal to get on a end of a cross from the right flank but fires wide. Best opening of the game for India.

44’ India 0-0 Nepal

Gurpreet is parially tackled while making a clearance but the ball loops straight over and the Indian goalkeeper collects it.

39’ India 0-0 Nepal

India are dominant on the ball now but they’re struggling to break down Nepal. India need more quality in the final third than what they have produced this half. The rain has stopped and that should help India.

39’ India 0-0 Nepal

India are dominant on the ball now but they’re struggling to break down Nepal. India need more quality in the final third than what they have produced this half. The rain has stopped and that should help India.

29’ India 0-0 Nepal

A dangerous cross from Nepal but Gurpreet reads the danger and comes off his line to collect it. The Indian goalkeeper is livid with his defence for allowing Nepal time and space to send in the delivery.

26’ India 0-0 Nepal

Thapa plays in Chhetri with a good through ball but the Indian captain’s shot is saved well by Limbu. The angle didn’t really favour Chhetri there.

24’ India 0-0 Nepal

India pressing well and not allowing Nepal to get away. Although the Blue Tigers haven’t been able to create too many chances.

17’ India 0-0 Nepal

A half chance for Nepal as Rahul Bheke slips as he prepares to make the clearance. Tej Tamang though fails to control the ball and Gurpreet pouches. The rain is going to make this quite difficult.

14’ India 0-0 Nepal

A mixup in the Nepal box and Yasir gets his shot away which is deflected before being cleared on the line. It was a routine clearance but Nepal made a mess of an easy situation.

9’ India 0-0 Nepal

Rain falling in Male. This will certainly test the quality of the playing surface and could affect the way this game is played.

6’ India 0-0 Nepal

Time for Nepal to threaten now as they hit the upright but the referee blows the whistle for a foul on Gurpreet before the actual shot.

4’ India 0-0 Nepal

DOUBLE SAVE! Yasir with a beautiful curling effort makes it awkward for Nepal goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu as he parries it straight into Anirudh Thapa’s path. The Indian midfielder seems destined to score but Limbu produces a superb stop from close range. Good start to the game.

2’ India 0-0 Nepal

Nepal pressing India a bit more today as compared to the last mathc and it has forced Gurpreet to go long. Manvir Singh does well to win the ball and flick the ball in SUnil Chhetri’s pass. But the Indian captain fouls the covering defender. Early signs of that Manvir-Chhetri combination working together.

1’ India 0-0 Nepal

KICK OFF! Nepal get the final underway in Male.

8:20 pm: Stimac eyes first trophy as India coach

If India beat Nepal in the final, the Croatian will become the sixth Indian national team coach to win the SAFF Championships title and just the third foreigner after Jiri Pesek (1993) and Stephen Constantine (2015).

8:15 pm: History hugely favours India

Nepal have beaten India just twice in their history and will be playing in their first-ever SAFF Championship.

8:00 pm: TEAM NEWS – Forced changes for Stimac

Chinglensana Singh replaces the suspended Subhasish Bose and Anirudh Thapa comes in for the injured Brandon Fernandes

India XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Chinglensana Singh, Mandar Rao Dessai, Lalengmawia, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Anirudh Thapa, Yasir Mohammad, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri (C).

Hello and welcome to the Live coverage of the men’s SAFF Championship final between India and Nepal from Male, Maldives. The Blue Tigers after a sticky start to the tournament got their act together with back-to-back wins against Nepal and Maldives and will now look to win their eighth title. Stick around for all the updates from the title clash.