Match Report: India 3-1 Pakistan


Defending champions India registered a 3-1 victory over Pakistan in a hotly contested SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 semi-final.

A second half brace by striker Manvir Singh and a goal by substitute Sumeet Passi was enough to make sure India progress into the final to face the Maldives.

India's were dominant in the first half but were unable to turn their attacking prowess into goals. The Blue Tigers came back stronger and scored their first goal three minutes into the second half, courtesy a clincial finish by Manvir Singh. Singh found the back of the net again in the 69th minute, taking his tournament tally to three. Sumit Passi's 84th-minute strike straight off the bench made sure that Pakistan, who were finding their footing, had little time to stage a comeback.

Both teams were reduced to ten men after India's Lallianzula Chhangte and Pakistan's Mohsin Ali were shown red for violent conduct and Pakistan's solitary goal came in the 88th minute proved to be nothing more than a consolation.

"We played very well from the beginning to the end. We have to give credit to Pakistan as well, they made a fantastic game of it, but overall, we deserved to win. We had more chances, we dominated the game. I'm just disappointed we conceded a goal. We didn't let the political issues interfere. We came to play football, and we played very well," said India's head coach Stephen Constantine.

Speaking about Manvir Singh, Constantine added, "I'm very happy for him, he played very well in this game, and in the last one as well. He's had a difficult time. I think he should be starting for his football club".

Speaking about his team's performance, head coach of Pakistan Jose Antonio Nogueira said, "First half, we did a good job. We pressed well, and we had good chances to score. So did they. But the second half, we conceded a goal too quickly. We tried to score in the last minutes, but could only get one back. Overall, it was a really good game. I think it was the best game of the tournament".

India will take on the Maldives in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final on 15th September.

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