Lebanon outclassed lower-ranked Vanuatu in this Hero Intercontinental Cup 2023 game, 3-1. The Cedars were dominant from the word go and displayed a stellar performance at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
The Middle-Eastern country had several shots and were dominating proceedings right throughout Match 1 of the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2023. Vanuatu on the other hand had to punch above their weight and conjure something magical in order to beat the highest ranked team in this tournament.
Round about the 15th minute of the game, Vanuatu made their first shot. Godine Tenene made a swift run from the left flank and took a shot. But it was saved comfortably by the Lebanese goalkeeper, Ali Sabeh.
The half-time score read 0-0 and Lebanon had missed several chances. It was even-stevens at the half-way mark; though the gulf between the two sides was quite evident.
Cut to the 59th minute of the game and Lebanon drew first blood. Lebanon captain Hassan Maatouk whipped in a perfect cross from the corner to Nader Matar and he pounced on the opportunity to score the goal.
Lebanon had scored the first goal and they were ahead. John Wohale then scored the goal for the Oceania country shortly later. The score-line read 1-1 and it was gearing up to be an exciting and enticing game of football.
However, the deadlock was once again broken by Lebanon in this Hero Intercontinental Cup 2023 game. In the 72nd minute of the game, skipper Hassan Maatouk once again whipped in an inch-perfect cross from the left flank and Hassan Kourani netted the goal for Vanuatu.
In the 85th minute, Lebanon were awarded with a penalty. Karim Darwich didn’t miss the opportunity and smashed the ball to the back of the net and gave Lebanon the final push in the game.
The eventual score-line of the game read 3-1 and Lebanon went on top of the points table because of a better Goal Advantage.
India beat Mongolia in Match 2 of the Hero Intercontinental Cup
In the other game of the Hero Intercontinental Cup 2023, the Indian football team spearheaded by Sunil Chhetri defeated the Mongolia football team. The score-line read 2-0 and it was a near-perfect game for the Blue Tigers.
Sahal Abdul Samad and Lallianzuala Chhangte had netted the goals for the home side and they started off their campaign with a solid and statement victory against Morocco.