India beat Pakistan 3-0 in a dominating display in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) U19 Championship final at the Dashrath Rangasala Stadium on Saturday. Kigpen scored a brace and a last-minute inch-perfect header by Goyary sealed the deal for the Blues. India successfully defended their title which they won last year. Read the India vs Pakistan SAFF U-19 Final match report and share your thoughts in the comments.
Pakistan couldn't threaten the Indian side as they dominated the game right from the start. India had their first real opportunity in the 37th minute. Ebindas Yesudasan delivered a pass from midfield to Naoba Meitei Pangambam, but Pakistan defender Muhammad Azan quickly stepped in to intercept the pass. The first-half ended 0-0 courtesy of an excellent defensive display by Pakistan but they couldn't keep up the same intensity throughout the 90 minutes. India opened their account in the 64th minute. A thunderbolt by Kigpen from outside the box in the 64th minute gave the lead to India.
After netting their first, India upped their tempo and started playing more offensively to double their lead. They eventually scored one more in the 85th minute with the same player scoring from a free kick. In the additional minutes, India were on a breathtaking counter-attack which was converted into a goal by Goyary's inch-perfect header. In the 96th minute, just before the referee's final whistle, Pakistan's Ali Zafar made a nasty challenge and saw a red card. It was India's eighth youth title in the SAFF championships, a clear proof of their supremacy.
Pakistan's match against Bhutan in the semi-final finished goalless, with the Green Shirts emerging triumphant 6-5 on penalty shootouts. The India vs Nepal match ended 1-1 in regular time. Then the match went to penalties to decide the winner. India won the match by 3-2 to qualify for the Final.