The inaugural edition of Intercontinental Cup in India has come to it’s last phase, as the final to be take place on 10th June 2018 at the Mumbai Football Arena. India takes on Kenya with both the teams having lost one game in their run to the Final of this tournament. Not only Blue Tigers and the Harambee Stars but also rain would also play a crucial role in the match.
● Team Details :
○ India :
In the last match against New Zealand, India lost the match to a much younger and talented side. As Stephen Constantine had rested Gurpreet giving Amrinder a start and the first choice centre-back duo of Jhingan and Anas was also rested for testing the reserve players ahead of the Final. In this game the All Whites reigned supreme over the hosts as New Zealand recorded 21 shots on target compared to India’s 10. India did not have that much, even the goal fro Chhetri was a lucky one. The team’s midfield did not do their job perfectly that had made the opponents progress easy, Narzary was not up to the level of expectation and in the defence the duo of Jhingan And Anas was missed. Regarding the fullbacks, the opponents had used this holes and changed the coarse of the game towards their side.
For the Final, Gurpreet will be back below the bar. In the last game Amrinder had come out unnecessarily for 2 shots which were turned into goal although overall he had a good debut. If the Midfield and Defence do their job correctly without any mistakes means it will be easy to the attackers to take lead and crown the glory.
○ Kenya :
The power house from CAF region had a decent run in this tournament, without star players the team had won 2 out of 3 games and scored a total of 2 goals in 3 games. Even in their last match against Taiwan the team had played under a pressure situation i.e a win with a margin of 3+ goals was required to progress to the final. Till half time the match was goalless but in the second half the team had scored 4 goals and cemented it’s place in the final. Dennis, Atudo Otieno raised on the occasion along with Miheso and Ocheing who would also give pressure to the Indian defenders. The Harambees have different goal scorers in all the games and the midfielders of Kenya are also scoring and along with it they were rotating the ball perfectly and thus chances were provided by their wingers to the strikers. The defence was slightly weaker in their game against India but Migne’s men would have rectified the mistakes now and are waiting for a revenge in the Final.
● Probable XI and Formation :
○ India :
Bose, Jhingan, Anas, Kotal;
Udanta, Thapa, Halder, Narzary;
○ Kenya :
Mohammed(C), kibwage, Atudo, Ouma;
● Head to Head :
● Recent Form :
India: D L W W L
Kenya: D W W L W
● Writer’s Take :
Almost all the Indian fans’ predictions came true, Kenya will be the toughest team to India and it has came true now. The Kenyan Coach has simply made it clear that in the Final they would not let the hosts March easily. Migne who denied to travel to the competition due to disagreement with the Kenyan Football Federation for sending a weak side might be sensing a silverware in a distant land.
On the other hand after Chhetri’s appeal, the attendance at Mumbai Football Arena has risen some folds and the involvement with the Blue Tigers have also increased off late. The nation would be awaiting for a victory on Sunday night for Chhetri & Co, something which is necessary for the team on the road to the AFC Asian Cup next year.
● Match Details :
○ Intercontinental Cup Final: India VS Kenya
○ Date & Time: 10th june 2018 & 08:00PM
○ Venue: Mumbai Football Arena, Mumbai
○ Live telecast: Star Sports 2
○ Online streaming: Hotstar, Jio TV