SAFF Cup 2018 | India beat arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 to secure spot in finals

SAFF Cup 2018 | India beat arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 to secure spot in finals

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The Indian football team pulled off a brilliant 3-1 win against arch-rivals Pakistan to book a spot in the final of the SAFF Cup in Dhaka on Wednesday. Two goals from Manvir Singh and one late strike from Sumit Passi ensured that Stephen Constantine’s men continued their good run.

India and Pakistan clashed against each other after a gap of half a decade in the SAFF Championships semifinal in Dhaka. Team India registered a resounding 3-1 victory against neighbours Pakistan, in what was a heated affair between the two arch-rivals. The Defending champions India were certainly the better of the two teams as they defeated Pakistan, who returned to International football after three troubled years.

FC Goa forward - Manvir Singh scored twice while Sumeet Passi scored the third to secure a spot in the final. After a goalless first-half, Manvir scored his first in the 49th minute and doubled the scoreline 20 minutes later. Substitute Passi added a third in the 83rd minute which made Hassan Bashir's 88th minute strike a mere consolation for Pakistan.

The first goal was the result of a brilliant counter-attack courtesy of the lively Ashique Kuruniyan, who unleashed a low cross which was gleefully tapped in by Manvir to give the Indian fans something to rejoice about.

The second goal trumped the first one, as Lallianzuala Chhangte who replaced Nikhil Poojary in the 68th minute made an immediate impact as the super-sub made a blistering run down the middle of the pitch, sidestepped two defenders and passed it to Vinit Rai. The midfielder set up Manvir for his second of the night.

However, Manvir was substituted as Stephen Constantine brought in Sumeet Passi. The former AIFF Academy cadet found the target in the 83rd minute, almost immediately after he came on. But India received a blow as Chhangte was given marching orders for an off the ball offence on Mohsin Ali, while the latter was also red-carded for his challenge.

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