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The Afghan striker was pleased with his contribution in the knockout stages which helped his country seal their very first international triumph...


GOALBY   AYUSH SRIVASTAVA     Follow @ayush_sri on twitter


Sandjar Ahmadi scored the vital second goal, to help Afghanistan beat India 2-0, in the final of the 2013 SAFF Championship.

Speaking exclusively to Goal shortly after full-time, he expressed his happiness at winning the title, by commenting, “The feeling is great and we are very happy since it’s the first time ever (that Afghanistan has won a title) and we have created history. Everyone is happy and it’s a great time.”

The Afghanistan players had earlier spoken of their wish to go back to the country to celebrate their title triumph, and the striker looked forward to it, though he was apprehensive that club commitments might hold him back. He stated, “I don’t know but I might have to get back to Germany. I might go for a day and go back to Germany. Of course it’s the first time we have won, so people back home will be going crazy with joy.”

Like many other members of the Lions of Khorasan, Ahmadi wanted to face India, so that they would have the chance of erasing the memories of the loss they suffered, two years ago. Giving his views on the team’s mentality before the game and what he made of the proceedings during the match, the forward stated, “India was very good but we were better because we wanted to win today. Last time also we were in the final, but this time we decided we shall not lose this time, and thanks to God, we won.”

“Today was great, the referee was good, and the Indian players were great. But today it was about our win,” he continued.

The Germany based player had a barren spell during the group stages, but came to life in the knock-out phases. Expressing his delight at having contributed to the win, Ahmadi said, “I am very happy that I helped my team. I didn’t score in the group games, and now I have scored in semi-final and final and it’s proved to be very important.”

“But the defensive side of our game and the goalkeeper (Mansur Fariqyar) were also very important (in the win),” he added.

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