SAFF Championship 2013: Afghanistan creates history as they win their first major cup

afghanistan champions 2Afghanistan proved their FIFA rankings credentials as they lifted the SAFF Championship 2013 for the very first time in their history after defeating India 2-0 at Dasharath Stadium, Kathmnadu. India the defending champion had to concede their title to AFghanistan after AFghanistan's goalie's Mansur Fagriyar's heroic performance in the final.

Mustafa Azadzoy scored the first goal of the match for Afghansitan int he 10th minute of the match to give an early lead. He scored a fine tap in after being set up by Belal Arezou. India took sometime to settle their nevers and make attacking maneouvre. First Mehatab and than Jeje's shot were brilliantly saved by Fagriyar to keep India at bay as the first half finsihed with AFghanistan leading 1-0.

The second half was started well by Afghanistan but it was India who got the first better chance of second half. Robin Singh got one on one with Fagriyar but he kept the ball out with his leg to deny the Indian forward. Sunil Chettri who came from bench made an instant as impact as his shot was well denied by AFghanistan's custodian. In the meanwhile Afghanistan doubled their lead in the counter move as Arezou's shot was saved by Subrato but Ahmedi latched on the rebound to give Afghanistan 2-0 cushion. Indian skipper Sunil later rattled the crossbar with a vicious stike but India couldn't make a comeback as Afghanistan became the new champion of SAFF region.

Afghanistan received a cash prize of $50,000 along with trophy. Runners-up India received a cash prize of $25,000. Both semifinalist Nepal and Maldives also received a cash prize of $10,000 each. In terms of individual prize Nepal's Rabin Shrestha was declared the best player from host country. He received a Hero bike. Maldives' Ali AShfaq remained the tournament's top scorer with 10 goals. Afghanistna's GK Mansur Fagriyar was declared the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Nepal also received a 'Fair Play Award'.