Hosts India clinched the SAFF Championships title for the ninth time after beating Kuwait 5-4 in a tense penalty shootout after both sides were deadlocked 1-1 in 120 minutes in the summit clash here on Tuesday.

After five rounds of penalty kicks the scoreline remained 4-4 and sudden death rule was applied. Mahesh Naorem scored but a diving India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved Khaled Hajiah’s shot to hand victory the home side.

In the regulation time, Shabaib Al Khaldi had put Kuwait in the lead in the 14th minute before Lallianzuala Chhangte equalised in the 39th minute. Defending champion India and Kuwait had also played out a 1-1 draw in their last group match.

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