Male [Maldives], October 17 (ANI): Indian men's football team midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad lauded the 'determination' of the team as the Blue Tigers' won their eighth SAFF title.
India convincingly defeated Nepal 3-0 at the National Football Stadium in Male, Maldives, on Saturday to win the coveted trophy.
The 24-year-old stated that the Blue Tigers were 'doubted' by all but the team responded positively in the last two group matches and the final.
"Unbelievable! 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," he said.
"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," he added.
Blue Tigers Captain Sunil Chhetri lauded the young players of the team for winning the record-extending 8th SAFF title.
"We made it special as we were not so good in the first two games. It was tough from there to come up and play the way we did," Chhetri said.
"Look at the youngsters - it feels good for all of them. It's all due to their hard work - we were here for 20 days till the final, staying on an island, riding the waves every day for practice sessions, and matches," he added.
Sunil went on to praise Assistant Coach Shanmugam Venkatesh for his work and said, "He won it as a player, and now as a coach."
Following their record-time eighth SAFF Championship victory, the Blue Tigers will now gear up for the AFC Asian Cup 2021 qualifying third round that is scheduled to kick off next year. (ANI)