India retain SAFF title

11 December 2011 04:46

Defending champions India retained the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) title with a 4-0 win over Afghanistan in the final in New Delhi on Sunday.

The hosts were kept at bay for the first 45 minutes by a strong Afghan defence, but broke the deadlock late in the second half and went on to score a quartet of goals.

India finally hit the back of the net in the 71st minute when Sunil Chhetri converted a penalty after Jeje Lalpekhlua was brought down by Faisal Safa following a pass from the centre.

Afghanistan were reduced to 10 men as goalkeeper Hameedullah Yousufzai was sent off for arguing with the referee over awarding the penalty to India.

India seized the opportunity to score twice in as many minutes through Clifford Miranda and Jeje, before Sushil Singh netted the fourth goal in injury time.

It was India's 11th win over Afghanistan in 14 meetings. The Afghans have a single win, while the other two games ended in a draw.

The other teams in the tournament, which is contested every two years between South Asian nations, were Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan.

Source: AFP