The Indian national team will take on Afghanistan in the SAFF Championship 2011 final at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday. The final will not only crown the new Champions of South Asia, but it will be also the clash of the best strikers of the tournament.
India’s Sunil Chhetri and Afghanistan’s Balal Arezou were the most impressive forwards of the SAFF Championship 2011. Sunil and Balal have scored 6 goals each and both players will be keen to score the „golden goal“ to win the final for their country and to secure the „Golden Boot“ award.
A virtual seventh goal in the competition would also mean that Sunil and/or Balal would see their names entering the history books of the SAFF Championship. Sunil and Balal are currently heading the all-time list of the most goals scored in a single SAFF Championship along with former India star striker I.M. Vijayan. Vijayan, popularly nicknamed „The Black Pearl“ of Indian football, scored six goals in the 1997 edition of the tournament.
Mohun Bagan AC star Sunil Chhetri is rated as one of the best strikers in the region and he has returned from a trial with Scottish giants Rangers FC just hours before India’s first Group stage match against Afghanistan on December 3.
His counterpart Balal Arezou plays his football at Asker Fotball, a 2nd Division club in Norway. The 22-year striker will be hoping to create history for his wartorn homeland.
Defending champions India are aware of the strengths of the Afghan team and coach Savio Medeira will need an on-fire Sunil Chhetri to win the trophy. Afghan coach Yousef Kargar has no pressure on his shoulders and he knows that his team is still rated as the „underdogs“ in public.
The stage is set for an entertaining final between the hosts India and Afghanistan, the surprise package of the tournament. And fans will be hoping for goals galore – Indian fans preferably by Sunil Chhetri and Afghan fans by Balal Arezou!
The SAFF Championship 2011 final between INDIA vs AFGHANISTAN will kick-off at 18.00 IST / 13.30 CET / 12.30 GMT.
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