The Blue Colts have won the tournament on most occasions.

Defending champions India will look to lift the trophy for the fourth time as they face Nepal in the SAFF U-17 Championship decider. Bibiano Fernandes’s side got past Bangladesh 2-1 in the semi-finals to secure their place in the grand finale. Thanglalsoun Gangte’s brace lifted India to the summit clash slated to take place in Colombo’s Racecourse International Stadium.

On the other hand, Nepal thrashed hosts Sri Lanka 6-0 in the other semi-final fixture. India finished second in the Group B standings, while Nepal topped the group after defeating the Blue Colts.

The Stakes

India have won the SAFF U-17 Championship title three times in 2013, 2017, and 2019 (these were different age group tournaments). They beat Nepal in the finals on all three occasions. The Blue Colts ran out 1-0 winners in 2013, 2-1 in 2017, and handed a 6-0 thrashing in 2019.

Meanwhile, free-flowing Nepal came from behind to beat India 3-1 in the Group Stage encounter a few days back. They look to be a very threatening side under Upendra Man Singh’s tutelage and will be hard to contain.

Head-to-head

India and Nepal have faced off five times, with India dominating the rivalry with four victories to Nepal’s one. Nepal’s only triumph was the latest match between the sides. India will take that upset as a wake-up call and will look to eliminate errors in defence.

Probable line-ups

India: Sahil (GK), Ricky Meetei, Mukul Panwar, Manjot Singh Dhami, Gurnaj Singh Grewal, Korou Singh, Thanglalsoun Gangte, Vanlalpeka Guite (c), Boby Singh Yendrembam, Thokchom Malemngamba Singh, Danny Meetei Laishram

Nepal: Khrishal Moktan (GK), Lachhu Thapa, Subash Bam, Nishant Tamang, Harish Raj Bhatta, Prashant Laksam (c), Ashwin Ghorasainee, Niraj Karki, Semanta Thapa, Dipak Thapa Magar, Unesh Budathoki

Players to watch

Thanglalsoun Gangte (India)

The forward from the Sudeva Delhi academy is in red-hot form. He has showcased his goal poaching ability with a semi-final brace. Gangte will look to add to his tally of four goals and take home the highest goal-scorer honours.

Unesh Budathoki (Nepal)

Another contender for the most goals scored in the tournament, Unesh has netted some screamers in this edition. He also leads the charts with four goals, tied with Gangte.

Did you know?

  • India have won the competition the most number of times (3).
  • Both the Nepal Women’s and U-17 national football team have defeated Sri Lanka 6-0 in two different competitions on the same day in a rare coincidence.
  • Every time India has won the event, they have beaten Nepal in the finale.

Telecast

Live streaming of the final of the SAFF U-17 Championship 2022 between India and Nepal will be streamed on the Eleven Sports website and also on Football Sri Lanka TV’s YouTube channel.

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