Defending champions India book final spot after defeating Pakistan 3-1. Manvir scored a brace and Sumeet Passi came on as a sub to score the 3rd one in the SAFF Championships semifinal in Dhaka on Wednesday.
Manvir Singh scored twice while Sumeet Passi scored the third to book Stephen Constantine’s spot in the final.
Ashique and Manveer looked in good touch in the initial exchanges of the game. The first half ended in end-to-end action with chances for both sides. India started with a much higher tempo in the second half.
A positive move added to a brilliant delivery from the wings by Ashique saw Manvir move ahead of his marker to slot the ball home and send India into the lead in the 49th minute of the game.
Pakistan tried to create something in India’s final third but despite the height advantage failed to build any kind of momentum.
Constantine introduced Chhangte in the 67th minute and it immediately paid dividend. The winger showed amazing skill with his first touch before cutting past three Pakistani defenders from the left. His pass was met by Vinit, whose first touch found Manvir, who blasted the ball into the top corner of Pakistan’s goal to double the lead in the 69th minute.
Pakistan made a substitution in the 73rd minute of the game with Adil coming in for Younus. The Indians meanwhile kept close control of possession, showing positive intent every time they attacked.
India continued the good work and were duly rewarded in the 84th minute when Sumeet Passi tripled his team’s lead.
Farukh played a part in the third goal as well as he found Ashique on the left, who delivered a perfect cross for Passi to head home after getting the better of his marker.
Shell-shocked, Pakistan showed some frustration as Mohsin Ali got involved in an altercation with Chhangte, which led to a fight. The referee flashed a red card to both players.
Pakistan pulled a goal back in the 87th minute when a loose header fell to Hasan Bashir, who blazed a powerful shot into the left bottom corner of Vishal Kaith’s goal.
The Blue Tigers managed the rest of the game well and qualified for the finals of the SAFF Cup. Stephen Constantine’s men will face Maldives in the final.