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SAFF Championship

Looking back at when India faced Pakistan in SAFF Championship

Published at :June 20, 2023 at 6:03 AM
Modified at :December 13, 2023 at 1:01 PM
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(Courtesy : News9)

Rutvij Joshi


We shine a spotlight at the three latest meetings in the Championship between India and Pakistan.

India and Pakistan square up to fight it out in the SAFF Championship. There is no rivalry in sports that matches the excitement of an India – Pakistan fixture. The stakes of the game are always high whenever these two nations meet

The hype and the results mean everything to the fans on both the sides and on Wednesday, 21st June after a gap of five long years the two neighbouring nations will lock horns against each other in the Group A fixture of the SAFF Championship 2023 at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.

Let us look back to the last three times when Indian Football Team played Pakistan in the SAFF Championship. The Blue Tigers have prevailed in their last four games over the Shaheens in all competitions.

2008 SAFF Championship (Male, Maldives) (India 2-1 Pakistan)

A thrilling encounter between the two sides took place in 2008 at the SAFF Championship in Male. India emerged victorious in the game, thanks to the two first-half goals. India were well in control of the game and took the lead in the 25th minute through a thunderbolt goal by veteran defender NP Pradeep, who banged it on the right of Pakistan's goalkeeper Bilal.

India doubled the lead in the injury time of the first half when Steven Dias placed the ball into the net from a through ball from Bhaichung Bhatia. Pakistan meanwhile reduced the deficit at 88th minute through Adnan Farooq’s header, but it was too late for Pakistan to level the game.

2013 SAFF Championship (Kathmandu, Nepal) (India 1-0 Pakistan)

The two arch rivals locked horns once again in the SAFF Championship of 2013 at the Halchowk stadium in Kathmandu. Indian team drew the first blood in the game through an own goal from Pakistani defender Samar Ishaq in the 13th minute. Apart from that goal, there were no real highlights of the game in terms of goals, however, both the teams did come close couple of times but were unsuccessful to breach the defence.

2018 SAFF Championship 2018 (Dhaka, Bangladesh) (India 3-1 Pakistan)

The last meeting between the two sides happened in the semi-final clash of the SAFF Championship in Bangladesh in 2018. Stephen Constantine, the then head coach of the Indian Team named an U-23 squad for the tournament.

Striker Mandeep Singh broke the deadlock early in the second half before doubling the lead for India in the 69th Minute. Sumeet Passi too joined the party to make the score line 3-0 for the seven times SAFF Champions. Pakistan tried to make a comeback into the game with Mohammed Reza Ali breaching the Indian defence just before the end of regulation time at the 88th minute but it was not enough for Pakistan to make their first ever final of the SAFF Championship.

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