2021 SAFF Cup | We were doubted and written off by all after first two matches, recalls Sahal Abdul Samad

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Sahal Abdul Samad (right) scored the third goal for India in the 2021 SAFF Cup final against Nepal

AIFF

2021 SAFF Cup | We were doubted and written off by all after first two matches, recalls Sahal Abdul Samad

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SportsCafe Desk

10/17/2021

Indian footballer Sahal Abdul Samad recalled how they were doubted by all and even written off after the draws in the first two matches, against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The Blue Tigers eventually won all their four matches following that, and claimed the SAFF Cup for a record eighth time.

India, the most successful team ever at the SAFF Cup, started their campaign with a couple of disappointing draws against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, which took the social media by storm. The Blue Tigers were ranked much higher in the FIFA rankings than the other teams, with the results coming as a shocker. 

However, Sunil Chhetri and Co. managed to stage a fitting comeback in the following matches, defeating Nepal and Maldives to qualify for the final. They eventually hammered Nepal 3-0 in the title clash to claim the title for a record eighth time. 

Sahal Abdul Samad, who scored the third goal on Sunday recalled how they were doubted by all and even written off after the draws in the first two matches, but they eventually answered the critics.

“We were doubted by all. We were written off by all after the first two games in which we drew. The character on display, the attitude, the determination of this talented side is amazing,” said Sahal Abdul Samad, after India won the SAFF Cup.

India’s Sunil Chhetri scored the opening goal in the 48th minute, while Suesh Wangjam doubled the lead a couple of minutes later. Meanwhile, Sahal Abdul Samad struck late in the game by virtue of a brilliant solo effort to seal the deal for India. Commenting on his effort on Sunday, Sahal termed it as ‘unbelievable.’

“Unbelievable (the goal). I think it’s a miracle. I don’t know what happened inside the box. I came in for the last 4-5 minutes. My teammates have been working hard – it all goes to them. But I just don’t remember what happened inside the box. I got it and went in. This is an amazing feeling,” added the Indian footballer.

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