| Abhishek Yadav is embraced by I.M. Vijayan after scoring the golden goal against Pakistan during their SAFF Cup play-off for the third place in Dhaka on Monday. (AFP)
Dhaka: India salvaged some pride in the SAFF Cup defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 2-1 with a dramatic golden goal in the third-place play-off Monday at the Bangabandhu Stadium.
Striker Abhishek Yadav, after a disappointing run in the whole tournament, struck in the ninth minute of added on time as the Indians avenged last week’s loss to their bitter rivals.
The depleted Indians looked determined to make amends for their shock defeats in the first round and the semi-final.
Veteran striker I.M. Vijayan, who might have played his last international match, put the defending champions ahead in the 66th minute, heading in a cross from East Bengal mid-feilder Alvito D’Cunha.
But the euphoria was shortlived as the Pakistanis restored parity within four minutes with the hard-working Sarfaraz Rasool heading home a pass from Ayaz Mohammed.
However, it was Yadav who came to India’s rescue with a superb strike.
He showed fine reflexes heading in a cross from Roberto Fernandes with the Pakistani custodian making a valiant attempt.
Although the Indians enjoyed territorial advantage, they were guilty of squandering a number of scoring opportunities.
India had won the last two editions of the meet and this victory can only bring them partial relief from the ignominy of losing to Pakistan and Bangladesh.