India hope to top it off with a win

India hope to top it off with a win

India will for the umpteenth time look up to the talismanic Sunil Chhetri and a stadium packed to the brim with emotionally-charged fans for inspiration as they face Kenya in the summit showdown of the Intercontinental Cup here on Sunday.

The world's third leading active international scorer, Chhetri has so far found the back of the net in each of the three games, 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, and a win in the final will surely boost their confidence going ahead.

India had blanked Kenya 3-0 in the league game at the Mumbai Football Arena, which was skipper Chhetri's 100th appearance in national colours. And the India captain made the game memorable by scoring a brace.

They will look to replicate the performance of their league game against the African side again in the summit clash, which the organisers have claimed to be a 'sold out' match.

The hosts are the side to beat this tournament as they have throughout played an aggressive brand of football.

But the Stephen Constantine coached team cannot take Kenya lightly as they have defeated New Zealand 2-1 and blanked Chinese Taipei 4-0 on Friday.

Constantine will ensure that his best playing XI will take the field after his strategy of making seven changes initially in the game against New Zealand backfired as the team lost 2-1.

For India, all eyes will again be on Chhetri, who has 62 goals to his credit and will look to add to his tally.

He and the experienced Jeje Lalpekhlua can pose a challenge to any strong defense and Kenya's would be no exception.

India also boast of an array of decent midfielders like Udanta Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Pronay Halder and Halicharan Narzary.

They will have to play their roles to perfection if the physically strong Kenyan strikers are to be tamed.

At the back, India have experienced defenders like Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal. Add to it the likes of Subhasish Bose, and the hosts can make Kenya's life pretty difficult.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was benched in the last game, will be back in action. He will have to surely be at his best.

On the other hand, Kenya would have bolstered their confidence after they drubbed Chinese Taipei, and 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 for their humiliating loss in the league stage, the home team will look to end the tournament on a positive note.