Afghanistan bag first tile

A goal in each half by Mustafa Azadozoy and Sanjadar Ahmadi saw Afghanistan beat India 2-0 to lift the title of the SAFF Championship for the first time, at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu.

The victory brought cheers to thousands of Afghanis in home and abroad as it was the first evert major title in football for the war-torn nation. Afghans also avenged their loss in the final of the previous edition against India, who had won the title with a 4-0 win at home.

The new champions were awarded with $ 50,000 along with the winner’s trophy for the feat.

 “As long as Afghanistan is here, Indian domination in the South Asian region in football is over,” said elated Afghani coach Yousef Kargar.

“Our achievement has great meaning. After 30 years of destructive war, we have given an inexplicable reason for Afghani people to cherish about with our first title. Our happiness knows no bound.

“Our win is dedicated towards national unity, a common reason to celebrate for a country splintered in numerous ethnic divisions. We are grateful to Allah for such happiness.”

 

Rod to finals

Group A

Team                     Pld         W           D             L              GF          GA          GD          Pts

Nepal                    3              2              1              0              5              2              +3           7

India                      3              1              1              1              3              3              0              4

Pakistan               3              1              1              1              3              3              0              4

Bangladesh        3              0              1              2              2              5              −3           1

 

Results

31 August 2013:  Nepal                   2–0         Bangladesh

1 September 2013: India                1–0         Pakistan

3 September 2013: Bangladesh 1–1          India

3 September 2013: Pakistan         1–1         Nepal

5 September 2013: India               1–2          Nepal

5 September 2013: Bangladesh                 1–2          Pakistan

 

Group B

Team                     Pld         W           D             L              GF          GA          GD          Pts

Maldives             3              2              1              0              18           2              +16         7

Afghanistan       3              2              1              0              6              1              +5           7

Sri Lanka              3              1              0              2              6              15           −9           3

Bhutan                                 3              0              0              3              4              16           −12         0

 

Results

2 September 2013: Afghanistan   

3–0 

Bhutan

 

2 September 2013: Maldives 

10–0

 Sri Lanka

 

4 September 2013: Sri Lanka 

1–3

 Afghanistan

 

4 September 2013: Bhutan 

2–8

 Maldives

 

6 September 2013: Afghanistan 

0–0 

Maldives

 

6 September 2013: Sri Lanka 

5–2

 Bhutan

 

 

Knockout stage

Semi-finals

8 September 2013
Nepal                    0−1          Afghanistan

9 September 2013
Maldives             0−1          India

 

Final

11 September 2013
Afghanistan       2–0          India

 

History

The SAFF Championship, also called the South Asian Football Federation Cup, is a biennial tournament between the members of the South Asian Football Federation. It has been in existence since 1993. India are the most decorated team with six titles under their belt.

Formerly known as the South Asian Association of Regional Co-operation Gold Cup in 1993 and South Asian Gold Cup in 1995, the tournament in 1997 was renamed to SAFF Championship and has been bearing that name till today.

Year

Winner

Runner-up

Score

Host

1993

India

Sri Lanka

1-0

Pakistan

1995

Sri Lanka

India

1-0

Sri Lanka

1997

India

Maldives

5-0

Nepal

1999

India

Bangladesh

2-0

India

2003

Bangladesh

Maldives

1-1 (5-3)

Bangladesh

2005

India

Bangladesh

2-0

Pakistan

2008

Maldives

India

1-0

Maldives, Sri Lanka

2009

India

Maldives

0-0 (3-1)

Bangladesh

2011

India

Afghanistan

4-0

India

2013

Afghanistan

India

2-0

Nepal