SAFF Championship 2018: India pooled with Maldives, Sri Lanka in Group B
The 2018 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship will be the 12th edition of the competition that takes place on a biennial basis. After being postponed from December 2017 to September 2018 (4th-15th), due to the Indian Super League (ISL) season, the SAFF is all set to be hosted by 2003 champions, Bangladesh this year.
The draw for the championship is as follows:
Group A Group B
Bhutan Sri Lanka
Seven times SAFF champions, India has been pitted against Maldives and Sri Lanka and will be taking on the two nations during the group stages of the competition. Under the leadership of Sunil Chhetri, who seems to be getting better as he is growing older with his splendid goal-scoring spree over the ISL and Hero Super Cup seasons, the Blue Tigers seem to have a bright chance to clinch the crown once again.
Not to underestimate the Mizo sniper, Jeje Lalpekhlua who has also had a superb ISL season with his team, Chennayin FC and played a significant role to clinch the glorious trophy for his club. The 27-year-old will be determined to register a few goals under his name and help his country towards a successful run in the competition.
Coach Stephen Constantine will be eyeing to bring the trophy home along with his men in blue. The last time India’s group stage rivals won the SAFF championship was back in 1995 for Sri Lanka and 2008 for Maldives; while on the other hand, India will be going into the competition as the defending champions, having won the 2015 edition against Afghanistan who are no longer a part of the event.
The fans will be coming out in full forces to support their teams, as the excitement in anticipation for the championship to kick off is rapidly building up.