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Rediff.com  » Sports » SAFF Cup: Afghanistan book final berth with 1-0 win over Nepal

SAFF Cup: Afghanistan book final berth with 1-0 win over Nepal

September 08, 2013 22:49 IST

Afghanistan beat hosts Nepal by a solitary goal to enter the summit clash of the SAFF Football Championship, in Kathmandu on Sunday.

In a highly entertaining first semi-final, the home team played their hearts out but Sanjar Ahmadi did what mattered most -- scored the winner in the 10th minute of the match.

Afghan players celebrate after winning the match against Nepal on SundayAfghanistan will meet the winner of the second semi-final between India and Maldives on Wednesday.

Nepal had their chances, including back-to-back penalties awarded in the 88th minute under controversial circumstances, but Afghanistan goalkeeper Mansur Fagiryar saved Rohit Chand's spot-kick on both occasions.

The penalty was awarded when substitute Bimal Gharti Magar collided with Mansur and fell down which prompted the Saudi Arabia referee ASAM Idham Mohammed to point at the dreaded spot.

Chand's first kick was brilliantly saved by Mansur diving to his left but the assistant referee pointed out that the goalie had moved from his position before the kick was taken.

Immediately another spot-kick was awarded but Chand's feeble shot was saved by a diving Mansur. Once the match was over, it was difficult to watch the crestfallen Nepal players who got a standing ovation from their supporters.

Afghan player suffers mild cardiac arrest after collision

The SAFF football championships was witness to a minor drama after Afghanistan player Farzad Ghulam suffered a cardiac arrest during the semi-final against Nepal.

The incident happened in the second half when Farzad collided with one of the Nepal forwards at the Afghan goal mouth and immediately fell down.

What initially looked like an injury due to an on-field tussle turned out to be much more serious as the defender lay unconscious on the ground.

The Afghan players frantically pointed out towards their team bench seeking medical help. Farzad's heart stopped beating for a few seconds before life-saving CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was given as the Ambulance rushed into the ground.

The played was whisked away to the nearby Blue Cross Nursing Home where his situation is understood to be stable.

According to the organisers, the doctors have termed it a mild cardiac arrest and his condition is said to be stable at this point of time.

Photograph: Goal.com/Facebook

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