India's under-16 football team stumbled at the final hurdle, losing to Pakistan 1-2, in the SAFF Under-16 Championship in Kathmandu, on Wednesday.
In an enthralling encounter at the Dashrath stadium, Mohammed Zaseen put Pakistan ahead in the 25th minute.
Not ready to throw in the towel, India drew level through Daniel Lalhlimpuia's strike at the stroke of half-time.
Pakistan regained the lead when Mohammed Mansoor scored early in the second half, the strike eventually decided the fate of the match.
Earlier, India's defence was slow to react, as a Zaseen cross from the left flank beat custodian Supratim Bhattacharya and dipped into the far post.
Lalhlimpuia restored parity, scoring off a goal-mouth melee as both teams went to the breather level 1-1.
But India were in for a shock as Mansoor scored for Pakistan off a corner four minutes after the change of ends.
From there on, India desperately looked for the equaliser, but Pakistan's defence stood tall.
"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," said India coach Thomas Joseph.