In the opening match of group A in the SAFF Cup 2023, held at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bangalore, India emerged victorious with a resounding 4-0 score-line against Pakistan. Pakistan's journey to the tournament has been marred by disappointment.
Ten minutes into the game, Pakistan's goalkeeper Saqib Hanif made a grave error, allowing India to score their first goal. Hanif attempted to clear the ball, but Sunil Chhetri seized the opportunity and found the back of the net flawlessly.
Chhetri extended India's lead to two with a successful penalty kick in the 16th minute. Despite Pakistan's efforts to get back into the game, they were unsuccessful. In the 74th minute, India was awarded another penalty when Chhetri was fouled inside the box.
Saqib correctly guessed the direction but failed to deny Sunil, resulting in his hat-trick goal and his 90th international goal. Chhetri continues his fine form and has been simply sensational in recent times.
Udanta Singh, who substituted for Ashique, added India's fourth goal in the 81st minute. This victory marked India's 15th win against the Pakistani side.