India lift SAFF title by beating gallant Afghanistan 4-0

India lift SAFF title by beating gallant Afghanistan 4-0

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There are very few times when you see a scoreline of 4-0 ans still you got to admit that the loosing side was as good a team. The India vs Afghanistan match for the SAFF Championship title is one such rare occasion. The scoreline seems flattering but the real picture in the field was different.

The match was set in pace by Afghanistan. They were raiding the Indian defense time and again right from the word Go in what a looked like one-sided game for Afghanistan for the first few minutes. There were 5 shots on goal, not all of them threat though, by Afghans in the 1st 12 minutes. Haroon Fakruddin and Belal Arezou’s speed kept Indian defense helpless. It was only Kranjit who kept the sheet clean. India was nowhere in the  picture as they barely managed to stitch passes together. The Afghani star Djelaluddin was foilin every Indian move right in the MF with his literally towering presence.

SAFF 2011 Champions India

Afghanistan could have gone 1-0 up right in the 15th minute. Gouramangi was sloppy in clearing the ball and it landed in front of Arezou. He passes it to Sanjar Ahmedi who just could not get a touch on the ball in front of an open goal.

India’s first real attack came only in 16th minute of the game. Climax took a free-kick from a bit outside the box and it just sailed over the horizontal.

In the 24th minute of the game, Belal missed a sitter that is not expected from him, Mashriqi passed the through ball to Belal who outpaced the 2 defenders all the way to shoot right into goalkeeper’s body. A little chip over him would have made it 1-0 for Afghanistan.

The last 20 minutes of the first half saw some brilliant moves by India. Once it was Climax who put a brilliant low long ball accurately for Clifford who lacked pace to make the most of it. Then it was Nirmal Chhetri’s solo run on the right flank but the cross although in the right direction was low and could not penetrate.

In the 2nd half India came back strongly. There were nice crisp passes and one touch possession football. Gouramangi and Jeje troubled Afghan goalie right in the 46th minute. Midfield started to look better but Jeje was a bit slow with the ball and Anthony Pareira disappointed and wasted many of the good work.

But the presssure started showing up in Afghanistan ranks. This earned a penalty for India in the 63rd minute. A brilliant long ball fell in front of Jeje inside the box but the lone defender behind him tripped Jeje. The Afghan goalkeeper rushed to the referee, pushed him and abused which did no good to Afghanistan and earned him a red-card. Suni calmly converted the penalty.

The second goal also saw brilliant assist from Sunil and then a classy finish by Clifford Miranda by dribbling past one defender and netting the ball in acute angle.

Henceforth, it was India all over. Some brilliant passing and quick moves were treat to the eyes. The 3rd goal came from one such move when Chhetri ran like a bullet with the ball and passed it to Jeje in the box who in his 1st touch sent the ball home. But Sunil had to limp out.

Sushil Singh, who came in place of Chhetri also left a mark of brilliance. The young kid who is compared to the legendary Baichung Bhutia showed why it is so. The ball that he recieved about 15 yards outside the box was perfectly shielded by him. He took a turn, went ahead 2 steps and fired the bullet from outside the box right over the goalkeeper who could do nothing.

Somesh Upadhyay is the editor and co-founder of Indian Football Network. He has been closely following Indian Football for more than 12 years and is extremely passionate about it.

20 COMMENTS

  1. ok my friends lets finished it all of Indians know that in 75 min India could not make even 1 goal and after that cheating………………………………….
    the ugly referee was a realllllllllllllllllllllllll cheater

  2. For all the so called Football Pundits out there.. The referee is not an Indian, He is a Singaporean. Also the referee is from the Fifa Panel of referees so no one can even claim he is cheating. Btw if any player pushes and Abuses a FIFA referee what would you think the referee should do? Hug him? Straight Red is the correct decision. Also look clearly who was cheating? I saw an Afgan player trying to kick out the penalty spot to make it difficult to score the penalty. You guys have had a Good tournament beyond ur expectations. Dont spoil the good performance with sour grape comments. Also we took the penalty twice without the anger shown by afgan players and accepted the referee decision to retake it professionally. Thats what is the difference between the teams the proferssionalism on the pitch and out here. You guys have just strted playing football as a Team a Very good one at that. Dont make the great tournament remember the fights rather than the good performance to reach the Final. Dont talk rubbisj without even knowing how the game should be followed and u shld knw the rules instead of bad mouthing here just bcos ur allowed to comment here.

  3. you are all nuts and idiots.win is win no matter who the referee is from.My question to all of you despite red card penalty kick atleast afghan should have scored one goal and loosing 4-0 is too much.
    the way miranda with goal and the especially the fourth goal the afghan goalkeeper was stunned.
    afghan played well?think againthey should have concentrated on defence after 2-0 rather pariotic.
     well done india 

    • My dear how come you say win is win, and no matter who the refree is, the refree was the only point that lead india to win, no matter 1 or 4, cheating is cheating.
      Just answer a simple question, if you remove a goalkeeper and bring a person who doesnt know what goalkeeping is then how come you expect he will defend the gaol.
      dont judge personally, if you dont know about football, atleast ask some one who knows about it and ask what red card is and when it is given to a player. you willl find the answer your self.
      Afghans are happy with the 2nd position than getting the first postion by cheating.
       

    • I don’t know your name Mr. India… but think logically, Red Card with no reason and Penalty will negatively effect directly on moral of the team specially if the match is abroad your home with more than 10,000 Indians supporters and the referee against muslims culture, tradition and religion don’t you think that cost AFG team to lose the game? Goal Keeper is most important key player of the ground!!! don’t you know this? In addition due to red card AFG suffered to take out one of its best player from the ground to let in the second goal keeper. Anyhow you Indians are always freakin cheaters and not trustable,  not even on the games but over all with tourists visiting india. Shame on You!!!

  4. I have nothing except to say this: 

    Some one asked from Sardar (Sikh) how India can win the match against Afghanistan. Sardar Said: if defender fouls the forward we should give the red card to the goal keeper……

  5. getting the sencond position in the tournament is not a small thing, it’s a proud to the Afghan nation, but on the other hand its not a success to the indian team as well. the penalty and red card by the indian origion refree spoiled the performance of the indian team and proved them as cheasters.
    the world wittnessed the performance of the Afghan stars and the stupidity of the indian origion refree, so it means indian should not proud on getting a planed trophy.

  6. As a citizen of U.S.A,  It was planed from the start of the match, because they gave the ref money to make afghanistan lose. As you seen the ref was not geting the fouls and outsides of the indians from the beganing. I was hoping that they punch the ref at the end.    

  7. Clearly, India cheated. Even a 5 year old knows that if the ref is a Sikh of Indian descent, he will favor India over the Afghans. We all know the Afghan team was superior, and this is factually proven by watching the first half and 60th minute. As soon as a red card is issued to the goal keeper who asked why the penalty is issued, he goes on and lies by saying “he insulted my hair”. Are you kidding me? Provide us the evidence that he said that, or that he was INTENTIONALLY pushed. Indian team was weaker than the Afghan team, and even Sunil Chhetri said that the reason why they won was because of that red card.

  8. AS AN INDIAN, I AGREE WITH OTHER COMMENTS REGARDING PUTING INDIAN REFEREE. THIS WAS A STUPID MOVE BY INDIANS. IT’S WOULD BEEN BETTER IF WE BROUGHT A REFEREE FROM EUROPE  OR SOME OTHER PLACES.  LAST TIME INDIA WAS COMPLAING, WHEN WE PLAYED IN THE MIDDLEAST BECAUSE THEY WERE USING A REFEREE FROM THERE. ALL THESE STUPIDITY TO STOP AND SHOULD USE COMMON SENSE. THIS WAY  NO FEEL LIKE GET CHEATED.  NO REFEREES AND LINESMEN SHOULDN’T BE FROM THE SAME COUNTRY. THAT’S ALL

  9. One of the team has to win anyway, so it was a wonderful match, but the refree ruined the taste of the game since he was indian, his decisions were coming to support indian morals, the indian team was lost, but by giving red card to the Afghan captain who is a brilliant goalkeeper, he give a chance to india, and it doesn’t’ make sound if someone says he is a singaporian citizenship. there are several 100 thousands of indian living everywhere. Indian proved that they are not less then pakistan in cheating

  10. But anyway it was a wonderful match, and the refree was indian, should be some neutral, and it doesn’t’ make sound if someone says he has singaporian citizenship. But he was india.

  11. It was absolutely Cheating, it was planned strategy to give red card to the Afghan Goalkeeper, since he was the only goalkeeper and in the same time the captain for the team

    • evereyone knows it was all planned and it is shameful to indian  side to get trophy that they won by cheating   shameful  and funny  Afghans  played well, even though Afghans been in war but they are great and they are real winnersss

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