SAFF Championship: Sandesh Jhingan confident of victory against Kuwait in final

Bengaluru, Jul 3 (PTI) Without disregarding the strength of Kuwait, India defender Sandesh Jhingan on Monday said the hosts are confident of winning the SAFF Championship here on Tuesday. “Our focus is now on Kuwait, it is going to be a tough game. They are a very good team. They have an experienced coach. We are looking forward to it. We have done well together and sky is the limit for this batch,” said Jhingan during the pre-match press conference.

“They have very technical players, and individually, they are also good. About their (FIFA)ranking (141), everyone knows that they aren’t where they should be. If you don’t do your thing for 10 seconds, they score against you,” added Jhingan.

Jhingan just can’t wait to take the field after missing the semifinal against Lebanon due to the two accumulated yellow cards in the group matches against Pakistan and Kuwait.

“I missed being on the field (against Lebanon) like any other footballer. I don’t want to miss the big games. But the team did really well, and I don’t think I was missed much. Mehtab Singh did well and Anwar Ali did well, and the entire backline did well. “It is all about team philosophy and unity. I was personally confident that we will get through to the final,” he said.

The veteran defender had words of appreciation for Anwar, who was exceptional against Lebanon.

“We all know about Anwar’s condition (Hypertrophic Cardio Myopathy). Coming out of it needs a strong mentality, and credit to his family for supporting him. He is doing very well at the moment,” Jhingan added.

India have never lost a final at home since 2005, and assistant coach Mahesh Gawli hoped his side will handle the pressure well.

“There is pressure because we want to win. The team is doing very well and I hope they play the same as they were doing,” Gawli said.

India and Kuwait were involved in a heated Group A match, which ended in a 1-1 draw, a few days ago.

However, Gawli said he has told the players to remain calm and focus on the task at hand.

“The last match against Kuwait was very heated. But we have spoken to the boys and asked them to be calm and cool because it is a game, and we have to win,” he said.

India skipper Sunil Chhetri left the field limping after the match against Lebanon, but Gawli allayed all the fitness concerns.

Source: PTI News


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