The India football team limited the Pakistan team’s first ever chance to reach the finals of the SAFF Cup when they beat Pakistan by 3-1 in South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship’s Semi-finals held on September 12, 2018.
Manvir Singh, who is so far the highest scorer in the tournament scored 2 goals against the rival team in the match which was not just a football match.
Pakistan who returned to international football after three troubled years, made it to the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 2005, with their best finish dating back to 1997 when they finished third in the tournament.
The first half was much of a balancing act as no goal was scored by either of the teams, Pakistan, however gained their confidence towards the end of first-half, when they kept the ball on the Indian side, having an intense goalless end despite missing chances through set pieces.
Manvir Singh breaks the deadlock in the 49th minute. Ashique sprints down the flank and delivers a low ball for the striker who pokes it perfectly to open the scoring. India leads the match by 1-0. Pressure was set on Pakistan as they face trouble to comeback into the game, while the Indian team still lead with 1-0 to them with some time left. Manvir Singh who scored the first goal in 48th minute, doubled it up in the 69th minute of the match.
Sumeet Passi, the birthday boy, who replaced Manvir in the last 10 minutes scored the third and final goal for India with his beautiful header in the 84th minute, pushing Pakistan further on the rearest seat possible.
Changte, who came on as a substitute is sent off for lashing out while on the ground while Mohsin Ali is also sent off for his reaction there. Pure frustration from the Pakistani and he pays the price.
Hassan, the second highest goal-scorer for Pakistan who has looked dangerous all evening, finally converted to give Pakistan their first and only goal in the 88th minute of the semifinal. This was the first time India has conceded in the tournament.
India will face Maldives in the finals on Saturday 15th September 2018.