Pak beat India, level series

Agence France Presse

Lahore, June 19:

Pakistan claimed their first ever home victory over India with an emphatic 3-0 win which ensured the arch-rivals’ inaugural football series ended in a draw. A second-minute Mohammad Essa strike put India immediately on the back foot before Tanveer Ahmed and Arif Mahmood killed off the match. Pakistan had needed the win after succumbing to a 1-0 defeat in the second of their three-match series on Thursday. The first game ended 1-1.

Although the series was declared drawn, Pakistan will keep the trophy by virtue of their superior goal difference. A second edition of the series is scheduled to be held in India next year. It was Pakistan’s first home victory against India and only the third time they have ever beaten their neighbours following wins at Ernakulum, India in 1959 and in the SAFF Cup in Dhaka in 2003. India lead the head-to-head statistics with 11 wins and seven draws. Pakistan appeared pumped up by the prospect of a $25,000 win bonus and dominated the match in front of an 8,000 crowd, including Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz. The football series is a sign of expanding sporting ties which resumed in 2003 after a three-year hiatus due to political troubles.