KABUL: Afghanistan's football team sparked rowdy celebrations across the war-battered nation Tuesday after securing a convincing 3-0 win over Pakistan in the first international match in Kabul for ten years. A delirious 6,000 capacity crowd packed the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium for a game that unleashed a wave of patriotic pride in a country beset for decades by war, poverty and extremism. The match was promoted as a symbol of football's ability to foster peace and unite countries in a shared love of sport, but the result was celebrated by many Afghans as a sweet victory over an old adversary.

An Afghan football fan walks with his national flag draped over his shoulders as others (R) wait in line to watch their team play against Pakistan at the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium in Kabul. -Photo by AFP
An Afghan football fan walks with his national flag draped over his shoulders as others (R) wait in line to watch their team play against Pakistan at the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF) stadium in Kabul. -Photo by AFP
Afghan (red) and Pakistani players seen in action. -Photo by AFP
Afghan (red) and Pakistani players seen in action. -Photo by AFP
An Afghan fan cheers for his team. -Photo by AFP
An Afghan fan cheers for his team. -Photo by AFP
Afghan fans, who came out to support their team from all over the country, cheer for their team. -Photo by AFP
Afghan fans, who came out to support their team from all over the country, cheer for their team. -Photo by AFP
Afghan fans watch the football match between Afghanistan and Pakistan  on a TV screen in Herat. -Photo by AFP
Afghan fans watch the football match between Afghanistan and Pakistan on a TV screen in Herat. -Photo by AFP
Afghan (in red) and Pakistani football players tussle for the ball. -Photo by AFP
Afghan (in red) and Pakistani football players tussle for the ball. -Photo by AFP
An Afghan player shoots towards goal. -Photo by AP
An Afghan player shoots towards goal. -Photo by AP
Spectators react in the stands as Afghan footballers celebrate their 3-0 win against Pakistan. -Photo by AFP
Spectators react in the stands as Afghan footballers celebrate their 3-0 win against Pakistan. -Photo by AFP
Afghan fans celebrate their team
Afghan fans celebrate their team's victory against Pakistan. -Photo by AFP
Afghan footballers celebrate their 3-0 win. -Photo by AFP
Afghan footballers celebrate their 3-0 win. -Photo by AFP

Comments (6) (Closed)


Riaz Murtaza
Aug 21, 2013 04:37pm

It is a shame for Pakistan. Pakistani team was no match to the Afghans. If it was loss 3-2 or even 3-1 was a little encouraging for us. Pakistanis should learn a good lesson. Try to bring peace in your country and learn tolerance and live with each other. Respect of every religion and sect is an important part. If this is ignored, Pakistanis will find themselves in a much worst situation. Just look at Bangladesh. They have progressed much better after their independence from Pakistan. Pakistanis open your eyes and be realistic and do not live in dreams.

Pakisan se
Aug 22, 2013 11:27am

@Riaz Murtaza:Get a hold of yourself Riaz, its just a game of soccer. Afghans have been through so much, and if this game brings that nation some joy, we Pakistanis welcome it.

Nadeem
Aug 22, 2013 05:14pm

@Riaz Murtaza: Its really rich coming from afghani. What did you say respect every religion, and worst situation, did you ever look in the mirror. A minor thing such as friendly football match and you are jumping on hoops.

sam
Aug 22, 2013 08:23pm

Now you know what US feels. Pakistan has given refuge to a million Afghans. What is the result? They hate and show ingratitude. Pakistan bad mouths US and is ungreatfull for all US aid and support from day one.

jamki
Aug 22, 2013 08:38pm

Congratulation to Afghan team

shoaib
Aug 22, 2013 09:10pm

@Riaz Murtaza: I think pakistan played extremely well to keep it 3-0 cause we are not into soccer much.And shame on you on posting such a childish comment. comparing soccer game results with peace situation and blaming whole paksitan for this.