10:15 pm: Presentation ceremony underway, with Chhetri getting the player of the tournament award for his 8-goal return. We’ll leave you with the closing thoughts of Arka Bhattacharya from Mumbai Football Arena:
Overall, while India have good reason to be pleased with three wins in four matches, let’s not forget about the quality of opponents that they have faced. Tougher challenges lie ahead in store for Sunil Chhetri and team India, who for now, are the Intercontinental Cup champions.
SUNIL CHHETRI, player of the match: “Extremely happy with the way we played. Thank you so much to the Mumbai fans. Just hope we get good games before the Asian Cup next year. [Almost with an embarrassing smile] There’s no comparison with Messi, just happy to be scoring for the country.”
Some reaction from the players:
VIKING CLAP TIME: This tournament has as much been about Indian football off the field as it has been about the performances on the field. The Viking Claps ring around the MFA as it has become a trend. Great sight! Credit to Mumbai.
FULL-TIME: India defeat Kenya 2-0 to lift the Intercontinental Cup.
Into the extra time: Time-wasting substitutions for India, Kotal goes off.
After 88 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
As the game winds down, Arka says, “It’s bewildering that Kenya have made one change, that too in the first half. Do they even want to win this?” But to be fair to the Kenyans they have created the chances, just the conversion has been abysmal.
After 85 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
It’s all Kenya this half as Stephen Constantine – quite animated now – has rung in the changes, and India look content to sit back on their two-goal lead.
After 81 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Think it’s 8 corners for Kenya now and nothing to show for it! That must disappoint their coach beyond his sanity. And from a cross down the left, a header (free enough) goes wide.
Udanta meanwhile is done with his shift...
After 75 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Free kick from a dangerous position for Kenya – OH WHAT A SAVE, GURPREET! SENSATIONAL EFFORT. It’s heading into the top corner, Gurpreet takes a step or two, dives to his left full length and palms it away for a corner.
Arka, meanwhile, with a gem of a crowd update: Crowd are chanting ‘Subhasish, Subashish.’ To be honest, it sounds like ‘Mufasa, mufasa.’
After 72 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
A couple of shots on target for India, with Balwant getting into the game. Chhetri tries to release him on goal once but the GK is alert. Kenya get their 6th corner (India have ZERO) and it hits the first man. Poor!
After 64 mins, India 2-0 Kenya:
Huge scuffle here as Thapa gets injured. Anas gets involved as the Kenyan players object to being called penalised for a challenge. Scrappy affair now.
After 62 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Arka Bhattacharya, on India’s substitutions: Balwant Singh is off for Jeje Lalpekhlua. It hasn’t been the best of games for Jeje, as it’s been all Chhetri in attack. Changes in positions as Balwant and Rowllin come on. Borges and Halder to sit deepest, Thapa in the middle flanked by Chhetri on the left and Udanta on the right. Balwant playing one-top.
After 60 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Chhetri is ABSOLUTELY OUTRAGED at the linesman! On the stroke of the hour mark, he releases Jeje down the left with a delicious through ball – a rare foray forward for India in this half – and the Mizo man was on his way before the flag went up erroneously for offside. Poor decision to be honest, and Chhetri letting the referee now.
After 55 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
India don’t even seem to want possession anymore, even under no pressure. Another big chance for Kenya in that phase of play, down the right. A 3-on-3 situation almost, but the Kenyan winger’s cut back evades his forward Otieno who was put under pressure by Pritam Kotal.
After 50 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Much like the first half, the second half starts with two shots on target by the Kenyans but one of them genuinely tests Gurpreet, who is alert enough as he sees it early and makes a flamboyant diving save. No real change in India’s tactics... Kenya though looking to play more to the feet and than just crossing and hoping for the best.
Kenya have started strongly, and with intent. At the other end, the Mizo sniper had a good chance to play in Chhetri but played a poor final ball
Second half underway: Can Chhetri and Co hold on to their 2-0 lead? Kenya had a fantastic second half against Taipei, scoring four goals to get to the final.
08:58 pm: Well, looks like we are not far away from Nadal’s 11th at RG. You can follow the French Open final on our live blog here. Nadal is two sets and a break up.
Arka Bhattacharya’s half-time thoughts as India take a 2-0 lead: Route One from team India so far. Kenya with the larger share of the possession but India’s plan has been simple and they’ve stuck to it. Our own Tony Pulis, the Stephen Constantine, will be mightily pleased and RELIEVED after the loss against New Zealand.
HALF-TIME: India 2, Kenya 0
One final chance for India as Halder releases Udanta down the right who turns and lifts a cross with his left to Chhetri, his header back to the middle evades Jeje.
At half-time, it’s Sunil Chhetri with the goals again (surprise, surprise) as India’s game plan to absorb Kenya’s pressure and hit on the counter has worked like a treat so far.
After 45 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Kenya’s physicality has resulted in two yellow cards already, the latest results in a good free kick opportunity for Chhetri – but he puts it high and over. Into the extra time, Kenya pushing forward once more but the final ball has been poor.
After 40 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Arka Bhattacharya on India’s tactics in the first half: Largely, it’s more execution than great football that’s gotten India the goals. The first was a well thought-out setpiece move, the second a searching long ball to find the captain. Gurpreet has been launching it long all game to find Jeje and Chhetri, this is something that was obviously agreed upon before the game to bypass the physicality of the Africans
After 38 mins, India 2-0 Kenya
Right now 59% possession with Kenya but guess who will be the happier side? Looks like India’s plan has been to absorb the Kenyan pressure and hit on the counter – which would likely be Constantine’s Plan A at the Asian Cup in 2019. Working to the T so far.
29th minute: Chhetri scores again, India up 2-0
GOALLLL! What a fantastic first touch by Chhetri. A ball over the defence, brought down exquisitely with his chest and slotted home with his weaker left foot. This guy. Whaddaplaya!
After 25 mins, India 1-0 Kenya
India must be content with the first 25 minutes so far...
Arka Bhattacharya: Kenya have largely controlled ball possession. The Africans have attacked at will as Pronay and Thapa drop deeper. Hardly anything from India’s side since the goalStephen Constantine from the sidelines asking the fullbacks to push up and crowd the midfield
After 20 mins, India 1-0 Kenya
It’s mostly just hopeful football from Kenya so far, decent play in the midfield and then a cross that is not really bothering the Indian defence – that seems to be the routine early on here. Indian midfield – Thapa and Halder again – holding their own.
After 12 mins, India 1-0 Kenya
Should really be 2-0 India already. Immediately after the goal Chhetri is freed down the right flank, almost one-on-one with the GK but he feigns a chip and cuts the ball back instead – to NO ONE. Should have gone for it. Kenya pushing forward now.
8th minute: India 1-0 Kenya - CHHETRI SCORES!
Lighting fast start here for India! Well worked free-kick routine hereAs Thapa takes it short and Chhetri slams in goal number 63. Straight from the training ground, that routine. Chhetri makes a run that no Kenyan defender sees coming from, and he sweeps the ball home. The goal-scoring form continues....
After 6 mins, India 0-0 Kenya
Jeje’s industry in chasing a long ball over the defence almost pays off as he shrugs off the last defender and is almost one on one, but gets into a tangle while going for goal.
Meanwhile, this at Kickoff - well done Blue Pilgrims and everyone else involved!
After 3 mins, India 0-0 Kenya
Remember the last time these two sides meant? It was absolutely pouring in Andheri. Good conditions now for football tonight. Two shots on target early on from Kenya but no *genuine* threat.
08:00 pm: Kick-off!
Arka Bhattacharya has taken his place at the MFA: “India revert to the formation they used in games 1 and 2.No real surprise there,” he says.
07:57 pm: The national anthems are done. Stephen Constantine has reverted to his best starting XI after making seven changes against New Zealand. Can Sunil Chhetri maintain his great goal-scoring form?
Kick-off in a few minutes...
07:52 pm: Kenya would have bolstered their confidence after they drubbed Chinese Taipei 4-0 in the final group match to pip New Zealand into the final and they will look to spoil India’s party. Kenya coach Sebastian Migne would want his two main strikers – Ovella Ochieng and Pistone Mutamba – to go all guns blazing.
While Kenya will seek to take revenge of their humiliating loss in the league stage, the home team will look to end the tournament on a positive note.
07:50 pm: One of the stories of the tournament has surrounded the fans – from just the Blue Pilgrims turning up for the first match to near full-houses for the remaining games. Another big crowd expected tonight.
07:48 pm: Chhetri has so far found the back of the net in each of India’s three games in the tournament, including a hat-trick against Chinese Taipei and a brace against Kenya. The tournament is being used by hosts India as a preparatory ground for the AFC Asian Cup, to be held in January next year. A win in the final will surely boost their confidence going ahead.
07:45 pm: If you are making a tough choice between watching India’s football match and the Nadal-Thiem final, you can follow the French Open final on our live blog here. Nadal has just taken the first set.
07:41 pm: Here’s the starting XI for both sides (Image courtesy: Indian Super League on Twitter)
07:40 pm: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the Intercontinental Cup final between India and Kenya set to start at 8 pm at the Mumbai Football Arena. It’s been a very interesting tournament for many reasons – on and off the field, and it all ends tonight.
As has been the case through the tournament, Arka Bhattacharya is at the stadium and will provide you with updates through the night.