India sealed the Intercontinental Cup 2023 after overpowering Lebanon 2-0 in the final at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. In what was the first-ever tournament for the Blue Tigers in the Odisha capital, the fans were treated to a fantastic spectacle over the course of four matches, where India did not concede any goals en route to reclaiming the title they last won in 2018.
Stimac’s side did all the damage in the second half as Sunil Chhetri found the net almost immediately after the restart, getting on the end of an incisive Indian attack from the right. Hero of the Match Lallianzuala Chhangtethen doubled the advantage 20 minutes later with a simple tap-in.
India had their foot on the gas pedal from the get-go as Lebanon struggled to string two passes together and get out of their own half.
In the fifth minute, Chhetri sent a first-time cross on a loose ball which went millimeters over the head of Sahal Abdul Samad, who was lurking inside the six-yard box.
Ashique Kuruniyan, operating down the left wing, was proving tough for the visiting defence to deal with. He sniped a low ball into the box for Sahal, who went on a mazy run past red shirts before releasing a cutback from the by-line. However, the ball was cleared away by an outstretched Lebanese foot before Chhetri could get on the end of it.