Manvir’s brace takes India to final

| | Dhaka
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Manvir’s brace takes India to final

Thursday, 13 September 2018 | PTI | Dhaka

Manvir Singh struck twice in the second half before Sumeet Passi headed home a clinical pass as defending champions India breezed past Pakistan 3-1 to sail into the final of the SAFF Suzuki Cup, here on Wednesday.

After a goalless first-half, Manvir scored his first in the 49th minute only to double the score-line twenty minutes later. Substitute Passi sealed the fate of the match in the 83rd minute. For Pakistan Hassan Bashir reduced the margin in the 88th minute.

India will now meet Maldives in the summit clash on Saturday. Maldives made short work of Nepal 3-0 in the first semi-final.

The first goal came off a brilliant counter-attack. Ashique Kuruniyan ran past everyone down the left and unleashed a low cross which was gleefully tapped in by Manvir to set the Indian fans berserk.

If that was good, the second goal was even better.

Lalliazuala Chhangte who replaced Nikhil Poojary in the 68th minute made an immediate impact as India doubled the lead. The super-sub made a blistering run down the middle of the pitch, sidestepped two defenders and passed it to Vinit Rai.

The midfielder on turn rolled it to Manvir who blasted it home from top of the box.

However, following a challenge, Manvir was substituted as Stephen Constantine brought in Sumeet Passi.

The former AIFF Academy cadet took less than a minute to join the party as he found the target in the 83rd. Ashique, the architect of the first goal, made an identical run down the flank to deliver it for Passi who headed the ball in.

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