Afghanistan defeated India to lift the SAFF Championship at the Dashrath Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal with the score reading, 2-0. This is the first SAFF title that Afghanistan has won, while India lost their chance to win the title for the third time in a row.
India was considered to be favourite going into the finals of the competition, but the Indian team were soon taken aback, as early as the eighth minute of the game with Afghanistan scoring a goal. The goal was scored by Mustafa Azadzoy, after which India
gave it their best to come level with Afghanistan, but they could not, with the Afghanistan players proving their mettle when it mattered most.
Had Sunil Chhetri been included in the starting eleven, things could have shaped differently, but Indian coach thought otherwise and left the star striker on the bench. It was a gamble, which did not fare well for India.
Later, when Sunil Chhetri was brought into the game as well, it was a daunting task for Sunil with the Afghanistan defenders looking strong both on the air and ground. Irrespective of such tight defence, Chhetri was unlucky not to find back of the net , as he hit the crossbar once and on another instance his shot was very close to a goal.
Though, the Indian team gave it their all to equalise, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt. But, the door was more or less shut for the Indian team with another Afghan goal in the 63rd minute by Sanjar Ahmadi.
When the final whistle blew, the most successful team in the SAFF championship, India had to be satisfied as runners-up in the competition, which they have won six times.