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Posted at: Sep 13, 2018, 2:00 AM; last updated: Sep 13, 2018, 2:00 AM (IST)

Manvir’s 2 strikes sink Pak, India enter SAFF final


  • India 3-1 Pakistan:Manvir Singh (49th min, 69th min); Hassan Bashir (88th min)
  • Maldives 3-0 Nepal

Dhaka, September 12

Manvir Singh struck twice in the second half before Sumeet Passi headed home a clinical pass as defending champions India breezed past Pakistan 3-1 to sail into the final of the SAFF Cup.

Manvir scored his first goal in the 49th minute only to double the scoreline 20 minutes later. Substitute Passi sealed the fate of the match in the 83rd minute. For Pakistan, Hassan Bashir reduced the margin in the 88th minute.

India will now meet Maldives in the summit clash on Saturday. Maldives made short work of Nepal (3-0) in the first semifinal. 

The first goal for India came off a brilliant counter-attack. Ashique Kuruniyan ran down the left flank and unleashed a low cross which was gleefully tapped in by Manvir to score the first goal.

Lalliazuala Chhangte, who replaced Nikhil Poojary in the 68th minute, made an immediate impact as India doubled the lead. Chhangte made a blistering run down the middle of the pitch, side-stepped two defenders and passed the ball to Vinit Rai. The midfielder rolled it to Manvir who blasted it home from the top of the box. However, following a challenge, Manvir was substituted as coach Stephen Constantine brought in Sumeet Passi. 

The former AIFF academy cadet took less than a minute to join the party as he found the target in the 83rd minute. Ashique, the architect of the first goal, made an identical run down the flank to deliver it to Passi who headed the ball in.

However, India received a blow as Chhangte was given marching orders for an off-the-ball offence on Mohsin Ali, who was also shown the red card. India had survived a scare in the 39th minute when Pakistan earned an indirect free-kick at the edge of the six-yard box but goalkeeper Vishal Kaith came up with back-to-back saves to deny Pakistan. — PTI


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