India have reached the last hurdle of the SAFF Championship 2023 as they go up against Kuwait in the final at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday.

After an unbeaten finish in Group A, the Blue Tigers went through an intense semi-final clash against Lebanon, and accomplished a victory after a nail-biting penalty shootout. The upcoming final will be the side’s 12th final outing in 14 SAFF Championships.

Having played out a 1-1 draw in the group stage, the two opponents meet again, this time for the coveted crown. Playing their first-ever SAFF Championship, Kuwait will look to maximise this golden opportunity in their maiden participation in the tournament, and will be raring to be the victor in this exciting fixture.

FIFA Ranking

India: 100

Kuwait: 141


The two sides have gone toe-to-toe four times and Kuwait have come out on top on two separate occasions, with their latest win coming in the infamous 9-1 victory in an international friendly in 2010.

The Blue Tigers, on the other hand, have managed to secure a solitary victory back in 2004, and will look to increase their win record as they aim to go one up in the final. The latest fixture between the two ended up in a draw in the group stage of the tournament.

Form Guide

India: WDWWW

The Igor Stimac-coached side have been on a meteoric run, having been on an unbeaten spree in their last ten games, winning seven of them. They have netted seven goals and have let in just one goal in their lead up to the final. Their hot streak of form has seen the side go a level up in the latest FIFA rankings, making the top 100 for the first time in five years. Holding the pedigree of reaching the most number of finals in SAFF Championships will be an added advantage for the Blue Tigers, which they’ll look to build on.

Kuwait: WDWWW

The Blue Wave have been on a rock solid form and find themselves on similar turf as India. While their FIFA rankings might tell otherwise, their on-pitch display has been nothing short of spectacular. The side last lost a game in January 2023 when they went down to Qatar in the Gulf Cup. Since that loss, the side has managed to score 18 goals and have conceded just four times.

Key Battles

Sahal Abdul Samad vs Hamad Al-Harbi

While all eyes will be on skipper Sunil Chhetri who eyes another record to his name, Sahal can act as the catalyst in the side’s hunt for another title. Specialising in creativity and vision, the midfielder can sustain pressure with his ability of taking on players. His quick link-up with the forward line might be the difference the Blue Tigers need.

However, he will face tough opposition from defensive midfielder Hamad Al-Harbi who is known to nullify attacking threats. His capability of making recoveries and turning around the play with quick transitions can hurt India on the counter-attack.

Sandesh Jhingan vs Mubarak Al-Fnaini

Jhingan will be back for the final after serving a suspension in the semi-final. The towering centre-back — who has been critical at the back with his tackles, interceptions, and blocks — will be the man in-charge for stopping the attacking threat of Al-Fnaini.

Deployed as a left winger, Al-Fnaini has racked up two goals in the tournament and will be a constant danger on the flanks. More so, his ability to make overlapping runs on the inside can pose a serious threat and it will be highly important to close him down. 

Match Details

Fixture: SAFF Championship 2023 Final - Kuwait vs India
Date: July 4, 2023
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru
Telecast: DD Sports
Live Streaming: Fancode