India, Pak to clash in SAF football final

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:06 IST

India will meet archrivals Pakistan in the final match to defend their football title in the ninth SAF Games tomorrow.

Islamabad:

High on confidence with an unbroken winning streak so far, India will meet archrivals Pakistan in the final match to defend their football title in the ninth SAF Games tomorrow. India, despite a second string team, have maintained their status as the only team to have won all their matches so far and enjoys slight edge over Pakistan, who will be egged on by home crowd. But, there seem to be a few weak links in the middle with only Debrata Roy seen in his elements in all of India's matches. Roy used as a withdrawn striker in all their matches proved an able foil for Malswan Tulanmga. But the verve in the frontline was missing in the championship. India have a better track record in the Games having lost only once in 1989 in a league phase to Pakistan. Last year, India thrashed Pakistan 5-2 thanks to a hat-trick by mercurial striker I M Vijayan, his second in the Kathmandu 1999 games. India has a plus seven ratio scoring eight goals in four matches and yielding one as against Pakistan's 11 for and nine against. India defeated Bhutan by a big 4-1 margin yesterday while Pakistan were lucky to scrape through against Sri Lanka 6-5 in tie break after the teams were level one-one in their semifinal matches. In fact, Pakistan's gave a sloppy performance as they could score their first goal in the 65th minute through Muhammad Essa and went on the defensive thereafter. With just five minutes to go for the final whistle, a self-goal by Naveed Akram forced the match into extra time. Neither team scored and in the tie break, Pakistan's Muhammad Essa, Farooq Shah, Atiq Rehman, Mehmood Khan and Zahid Hameed were successful, while Lathif Mohamed, Mohamed Naufer, Maduranga Weerasinghe and Akila Dilshan scored for Sri Lanka. (PTI)

Topics : Football
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