AOPNEWS | January 4, 2016
Afghanistan’s national football team arrived home today (Monday) and were greeted by thousands of adoring fans, including women and children. The team had been in India from December 23, 2015 to January 3, 2016 to participate in the 2015 SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Suzuki Cup. Afghanistan did very well in the competition, dominating team after team, however, they lost the final match to India 2-1 in overtime. Many fans watching the final game blamed the loss on biased refereeing. Others blamed it on defensive mistakes, and still others on the decision not to play top scorer Khaibar Amani at the start of the game, which remained scoreless till the 70th minute.
However, in a report published today by the Afghan Premier League on it’s official website, the assistant coach of the team simply stated that the team was just unlucky, and failed to score enough goals from opportunities that were created. He rejected that the Afghan defenders made a mistake when India scored the final goal of the game. “I don’t think it was a mistake. It was [a] misunderstanding. This time, Indian striker made a quick decision”, the assistant coach was quoted as saying.
Afghanistan went into this year’s competition as defending champions. In 2013, they defeated India 2-0 to win the biennial competition, which was held in Nepal.