New Delhi, Sep 11: Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will be up against each other on the football field when the two teams clash at the SAFF Cup semi-final on Wednesday (September 12) in Dhaka.
The Indo-Pak rivalry has always been billed as the most sought-after sporting rivalries across the globe. A frenzy is witnessed amongst football fans of the two countries as after a prolonged gap of five years the arch-rivals will be meeting in an official match.
Coach Stephen Constantine's India U23 side topped the Group B after beating Maldives 2-0 in their final group game at the Bangabandhu Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday (September 9).
India have won 18 of the 31 encounters against Pakistan so far with 5 having ended in a draw.
The last time the two teams had met in an official match was also in a SAFF Championship in Kathmandu in September 2013. India had won 1-0 on that occasion.
After the 3-year-long suspension was lifted, Pakistan have played some impressive football in the Asian Games Jakarta 2018 before reaching Dhaka to compete in the SAFF Cup 2018.
This is going to be only the fifth occasion when Pakistan have reached the last four in the SAFF Championship. The last instance when they achieved the feat was in 2005 which was hosted in Pakistan.
Venue: Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka
Timing: 730 PM (IST)
TV Channel: D Sport
Live Streaming: Jio TV and Airtel TV
Just another match for Coach Constantine:
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."
A special match for Pakistan captain Saddam Hossain:
A couple of days prior to the high-profile clash, Pakistan's Central Defender Zesh Rehman and Captain Saddam Hossain said that "such a match is special," and that the players "need to give that bit extra" to end up on the winning side.
"We can't just wait to play against India. We have every ounce of respect for our opponents but that won't deter us from playing our natural game. We have shown our worth and I believe it's going to be a heck of a contest and no one will prefer to give it a miss," Hossain said.
So, get ready for an exciting encounter between the two teams.