India men’s football team will look to add some silverware to their kitty as they take on Lebanon in the Hero Intercontinental Cup final at the Kalinga stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.

The Blue Tigers faced the Cedars on Thursday as the two sides played out a goalless draw in the final game of the league phase and will clash again in the title clash on Sunday. 

With just two places separating the two nations on FIFA rankings, the final is expected to be another tight contest and Igor Stimac’s men will have to bring their best game to the table to claim their second Hero Intercontinental Cup title. 

The game will also be a good contest to gauge where the two teams stand in terms of their preparation for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar in January. 

Head-to-head record

The visitors have a much stronger head-to-head record against India with the men in blue winning just one match against their opponents in history. Lebanon have won four games between the two sides while three matches including Thursday’s affair have been draws. 

This has been a high-scoring fixture with the eight meetings so far producing 23 goals. However, India have failed to score in their last two matches against the west Asian side, something Stimac would be keen to put right. 

Form Guide

India: WWWWD

India’s winning streak at home came to an end on Thursday but they remain unbeaten in their last five matches and have won seven out of their last eight games on home turf. Their recent record will give them plenty of confidence to get the job done and claim a morale-boosting win ahead of the SAFF Championship. 

Lebanon: LLWDD

Lebanon have just one win in their last five matches but haven’t lost in their last three matches. Goalscoring has been a problem for the Cedars who have failed to score in four out of their last five matches. They will be boosted though by two clean sheets in the last two games. 

Key Players


Sandesh Jhingan: The Indian defender showed his class against Lebanon as he led the defence to another clean sheet. Against a strong and physical side, he will be key again to keep the visitors at bay and lead the defensive line in a big game.

Sunil Chhetri: Often the man for the big occasions, Sunil Chhetri will once again hold the key for India in a game that is expected to be decided by fine margins. He has the class and mentality to make a difference in games like a final and will provide the team with the calm needed for a final. 


Hassan Maatouk: The captain of the side, Maatouk, is the player to watch out for in the Hero Intercontinental Cup. The 35-year-old plays a pivotal role for the side and is capable of playing in different positions in attack. His vision and ability on the ball make him a potential game-changer. He began his senior national team career at the age of 19 and played his first game on January 26, 2006, in a friendly match against Saudi Arabia, which Lebanon won 2–1.

Maatouk holds the record for the highest number of goals scored by a Lebanese player, with 21 goals, and he is also their most-capped player with 101 caps.

Nader Matar: Similar to Maatouk, Matar also represents Al Ansar FC in the Lebanese Premier League for his club football. Born in Ivory Coast, Matar is an attacking-minded midfielder who possesses excellent dribbling skills and flair. He is known for his proficiency in set pieces, serving as a specialist for his team.

Matar, who is 31 years old, made his debut for Lebanon in a friendly match against Iraq on January 22, 2012, which Lebanon won with a score of 1–0.

Match Details

Fixture: India vs Lebanon

Date: June 18, 2023

Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Telecast: Star Sports 2, Disney + Hotstar, JioTv