Pakistan are the first-ever champions of the Under-16 SAFF Cup beating neighbours India 2-1 in the final played at Kathmandu's Dasrath Stadium. The inaugural edition of the Under-16 boys South Asian Football Federation Championships (SAFF Cup) was held from August 1 to 10 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Mohammed Zaseen and Mohammed Mansoor scored for Pakistan, while Daniel Lalhlimpuia had scored the equaliser in-between.
It was an interesting final with both teams trying initially to take an early lead. It was Pakistan who took the lead in the 25th minute when a Mohammed Zaseen cross dipped over Indian custodian Supratim Bhattacharya into the far post. Thereafter it was often one-way traffic as India put a lot of pressure on their opponents and it was Daniel Lalhlimpuia in the first half injury time to equalise for our juniors following a goal-mouth melee.
Only five minutes into the second half India were again behind when Mohammed Mansoor scored the lead and the eventual winner for the Pakistanis. Once more it was mainly one-way traffic thereafter as India put Pakistan under a lot of pressure, but besides missing chances the Pakistan defence held their ground.
India Under-16 coach Thomas Joseph said that there are lots of positive to take back home as some of the boys were playing their first International tournament.
"We could have done much better. Pakistan on the other hand played well and stuck to their task. We are certainly going home with lots of positives and these guys have played extremely well throughout the tournament," Thomas Joseph said.
Overall a good tournament for the India Under-16 boys, but once more has been often the problem with our teams the finishing was lacking then otherwise these boys surely could have won the title.
August 1: INDIA U16 0-1 Pakistan U16
August 3: Maldives U16 0-6 Pakistan U16
August 5: INDIA U16 5-0 Maldives U16
August 2: Sri Lanka U16 2-6 Bangladesh U16
August 4: Nepal U16 0-0 Bangladesh U16
August 6: Sri Lanka U16 0-6 Nepal U16
August 8: Pakistan U16 2-0 Bangladesh U16
August 8: Nepal U16 1-1,2-4 India U16 [penalties]
FINAL PLACEMENT DAY
August 9: Maldives U16 2-0 Sri Lanka U16
August 10: Bangladesh U16 1-2 Nepal U16
August 10: Pakistan U16 2-1 India U16