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The skipper of the Afghanistan team looks forward to winning the Challenge Cup and thereby qualifying for the 2015 Asian Cup...


GOALBY   AYUSH SRIVASTAVA     Follow @ayush_sri on twitter



Haroon Amiri was jubilant at the final whistle, as Afghanistan upstaged India to win the 2013 SAFF Championship.

Speaking to Goal, shortly afterwards, the Lions of Khorasan’s captain expressed his joy at having won the much coveted title of South Asia. He said, “It’s a dream come true and there is no mistake about it. No one will ever forget this (in Afghanistan). In Afghanistan everyone is enjoying and partying on the roads. This is the beginning of Afghanistan football. Thanks to our nation for praying to us and to God for making this happen.”

There was so much excitement back in Afghanistan about this match, that they chartered a couple of planes to bring several hi-profile dignitaries to the game. The players were expected to go back with them and receive a hero’s welcome back home, with the President Hamid Karzai set to personally greet the players at the airport.

Amiri revealed, “Yes, of course, they have got a private plane for us and the President is waiting for us at the airport. We are enjoying this win. In Afghanistan everyone is waiting for us and I am speechless.”

Looking back at the game, the Mumbai FC defender conceded that India often dominated proceedings but pointed out that his was the more clinical side. He opined, “At some point of time they dominated the game, but we scored and that’s most important. We used our chances and scored with our two chances. It was their bad luck and, God and luck were with us.”

“It was a sweet revenge for us,” he added, in reference to the re-match that this game affectively was of the 2011 final where they lost to India 4-0 after their goalkeeper got sent-off.

Amiri though refused to just rest on his laurels, and was already looking forward to the Challenge Cup, as he told Goal, “Now we aim for the Challenge Cup and then we shall go on to  the Asia Cup. If the team is united and good, we can win this (Challenge Cup).”

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