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How will Jhingan's absence affect India against Lebanon in the SAFF semi-final?

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

On the 1st of July India would be facing Lebanon in the second semi-final of the day of the SAFF championship 2023. Fans are expecting this to be a tight encounter as both teams would be aiming to reach the final of the tournament.

India last played Lebanon in the Intercontinental Cup final this month where the South Asian side beat the Cedars by 2 goals. Both the teams are ranked right next to each other and hence the semi-final clash would also become crucial to decide who would be in the pot 2 of World Cup qualifiers in Asia.

For India, the circumstances are not good as Coach Igor Stimac would be on the stands after seeing a second controversial red card in this tournament, while Sandesh Jinghan would also be missing from the center-back position after seeing the second yellow card in the tournament.

The center-back pairing of Anwar Ali & Sandesh has been crucial for India in maintaining the unbeaten streak until now and the clean-sheet streak before the India-Kuwait match. As other options, India has Pritam Kotal, Mehtab, and Rahul Behke. Everyone is asking the same question who would replace Jhingan at the center-back?

India in SAFF Championship.

Lebanon on the other hand would be wanting to take revenge after their 2-0 loss at the Intercontinental Cup final and go above India into pot 2 before the July World Cup qualifiers draw. India would have to look out for Lebanon's key players such as Hassan Mathouk. In the SAFF championship, India has lifted the trophy the most no.of times but this edition of the tournament is most interesting and competitive with two teams Kuwait & Lebanon from outside the region. So will India be able to defend their title against strong sides is the major question and challenge in front of the team.



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