KATHMANDU, Aug 10 (IANS): India went down to Pakistan 1-2 in the finals of the SAFF U-16 football championship at the Dashrath Stadium here Wednesday.
In an enthralling encounter, Mohammed Zaseen put Pakistan ahead in the 25th minute. India came back after Daniel Lalhlimpuia scored the equaliser at the stroke of half-time.
Mohammed Mansoor scored the winning goal for Pakistan early in the second half.
The match started on brisk pace with both the teams battling it out to score the opener. Indian defence was slow to react as a Zaseen cross from the left flank was too good for Indian custodian Supratim Bhattacharya as it dipped into the far post to put Pakistan ahead.
Lalhlimpuia restored the parity, scoring off a goal-mouth melee as both the teams went for the breather with the scoreline reading 1-1.
Mansoor then sealed the deal for Pakistan, scoring in the 49th minute off a corner. The Indian boys played their hearts out to score the equaliser, but Pakistan's defence stood tall throughout the game.
India coach Thomas Joseph said there were lots of positives to take back home as some of the guys were playing their first international tournament.
"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 positive and these guys have played extremely well throughout the tournament," he said.