India beat rival Pakistan by 3-1 to advance into the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
India beat both Maldives and Sri Lanka to advance into the semifinal as group winners. India is the only team in this competition who haven’t lost a game. Pakistan won two out of three group stage games to advance into the semifinal as group runner up.
Pakistan started well in the first half. They were dangerous on high balls and set pieces. The first attack of the game came on the 7th minute when Mohamed Riaz headed Mehmood Khan’s free kick. His near post header went wide from close range. India also came close in the 10th minute when Vinit Rai’s shot from outside the box were punched out over the cross bar by Pakistan goalkeeper.
India had a wonderful chance to take the lead in the 24th minute when Faruk Choudhury found unmark Manvir Sing in the box. His effort was well saved by the Pakistan goalkeeper Yousaf Ijaz. India also came close scoring after two minutes when Anirudh Thapa found Ashique Kuruniyan in the box. This time also, Pakistan goalie made an outstanding save to keep the score level.
Pakistan came close in the 37th minute when the referee awarded them an indirect free kick inside Indian penalty area when their goal keeper picks a back pass by his teammate. Mohamed Ali fired it into the wall and the rebound by Mohamed Riaz was saved by Indian goal keeper. On the other end, India also came close in the 39th minute. Farukh Choudhary’s left foot strike went wide. In the 43rd minute, Pakistan striker Hassan Naweed Bashir’s free kick in front of the box went close. He almost headed in from Saddam Hussain’s cross in the dying seconds of the first half as it ended goalless.
India took the lead just start of second half. Manvir Singh’s neat finish into the near post from Ashique Kuruniya’s beautiful low cross gave one nil lead to the Indians. Pakistan goalkeeper denied another header from Manvir Singh from doubling the lead in the 65th minute. But after four minutes, Manvir singh finally doubled the lead hammering in to the roof of the net from Vinit Rai’s well-timed pass. Sumeet Passi headed a third coming off the bench in the 83rd minute from a beautiful cross delivered by Ashique Kuruniyan.
Both Mohsin Ali of Pakistan and Lallianzuala Changte of India were sent off for violent conduct in the 86th minute before Hassan Naweed Bashir added a consolation for Pakistan in the 88th minute from a long-range shot as the match ended 3-1 to the Indians.
India will face Maldives in the final on Saturday.