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SAFF Cup 2018: Clash against Pakistan is just another match: Stephen Constantine

By Chitrangada
File photo of Indian team

Dhaka, September 10: Even as the hype and excitement around the India's semi-final clash against Pakistan in the ongoing SAFF Suzuki Cup grows, India coach Stephen Constantine described it as "just another match."

Courtesy India's back-to-back victories against Sri Lanka and Maldives by an identical 2-0 margin, India booked a semi-final clash with Pakistan which will be played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka on September 12 (Wednesday).

Speaking about the high voltage semifinal, Constantine said, "We are aware of the contest. But that is nothing different. It's just another match. We can't let the occasion get over us and hopefully, we will beat them to advance to the final."

The two sides last played an official match in September 2013 in Kathmandu, with India emerging winners by a solitary goal on that occasion. Incidentally, Pakistan have qualified for the last-four of SAFF Suzuki Cup after 13 long years and they now clash with the 7-time champions.

In the other semifinal, Nepal will play Maldives. Constantine lauded Nepal's achievements and expressed they were deserving entrants to the semis. "Nepal have played some stupendous football and they have deservingly reached the semis. Hopefully, we get a win against Pakistan and face Nepal in the final," he maintained.

Meanwhile, Manvir Singh, who had been named as the Most Valuable Player for his performance against Maldives on Sunday (September 9) stated his first International goal was the 'most delightful moment' of his career so far. "Scoring for the country is always special. The first goal - it's a different emotion. I was sniffing around but the goal was eluding me," he said.

"So finally, when I made it, it was the most delightful moment for me as a footballer. The win has been a result of our team game and now we're looking forward to the semi-finals."

Source: AIFF Release

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    Story first published: Monday, September 10, 2018, 17:07 [IST]
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