Hope you enjoyed the coverage. That’s it from us tonight.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): A dominant performance from India on the night in tricky conditions. Pakistan, to their credit, played well for a team who had no time to prepare. Igor Stimac will be happy with his defence keeping yet another clean sheet.

A solid start to the campaign for India with a 4-0 win. It was once again the captain, the spearhead of the Indian team for so many years, Sunil Chhetri who led from the front. He scored his fourth hat-trick in international football before Udanta Singh rounded off a well worked direct move from defence.

India move to the top of Group A after this win over Pakistan and next play Nepal on July 24.

“We are very happy to keep a clean sheet and start a tournament on a winning note. These were difficult conditions, but we’re happy to have the clean sheet.”

— India captain Sunil Chhetri at the end of the match
Full-time score


95 minutes - We’re into the final minute of play.

Six minutes added time

90 minutes - We’re into stoppage time now.

85th minute - Thoroughly dominant display by India. Five minutes left in regulation time.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): Superb run from Udanta to escape the offside trap. Calmly finishes it past Hanif. Udanta rolling back the years at the Kanteerava

81st minute - GOAL FOR INDIA! Anwar Ali spots the run of Udanta Singh. Lovely long ball from the deep, excellently controlled by Udanta, as he charges forward unchallenged before slotting home to make it 4-0.

73rd minute - GOAL FOR INDIA! HAT-TRICK SUNIL CHHETRI! The captain makes no mistake. Short run-up, top right corner of the goalkeeper.

73rd minute - PENALTY INDIA! A defender brings down Sunil Chhetri in the box. Will the captain get his hat-trick?

65th minute - Sandesh Jhingan comes agonisingly close to make it 3-0. He rose well to head Sahal Abdul Samad’s free-kick but his shot hits the underside of the crossbar, and the Pakistan goalkeeper ushers the ball out of play.

60th minute - Pakistan have started to hold possession a bit more, but the Indian defence has held strong, although there have been no such moments of panic for the hosts just yet.

50th minute - Few good chances already for India within five minutes of the second half, but none converted.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): It was a proper half of football with India, being the better side, dominating proceedings. No bad tackles or heated exchanges until Stimac’s moment of madness. Hopefully, the action will be restricted to proper football in the second half

And we’re off!

The players are back on the pitch. Second half coming up.

A dominant first-half display from India. They’ve held the majority of the possession and created most of the chances. Sunil Chhetri, the instrumental captain, scored both. The first was him at his poaching best, putting the pressure on the Pakistan goalkeeper, who fluffed a clearance and gave Chhetri and open net to slot into. The second was a well-taken penalty.

As the rain picked up, it got a bit cagey in the middle. And then tempers flaired towards the end of the first half after the India coach knocked a ball out of the Pakistan player’s hand. Stimac consequently received a red card after a brief scuffle.

But it remains 2-0 at the break.

And that’s half-time!

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): It has kicked off here. Igor Stimac wants a foul on Kotal. The referee gives a throw in to Pakistan. A furious Stimac blocks the throw in and it threatens to become a free for all. Udanta gets into a shouting match with a member of Pakistan coaching staff. Stimac gets a red card

45th minute - RED CARD FOR THE INDIA COACH! Needless from India’s coach Igor Stimac, as he knocks a ball out of a Pakistan player’s hand as he tried to take a throw in. Tempers flair as both sets of players clash. The referee and both captains intervene. Stimac though gets a red card.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): The intensity of the rain has increased. Fans in the south stand have huddled under the scoreboard for shelter. Alas, there is no place for the media to take cover

40th minute - Getting a bit cagey as the rain has started to fall in Bengaluru. India still hold a firm grip of the match though.

31st minute - Freekick to India from a dangerous position, and it’s that man again, Sunil Chhetri who steps up. But his shot goes just wide of the near post.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): Chhangte seems to be in mood tonight. Muhammad Sufyan is in for long, long night. It is rare to see Bengaluru fans cheer on a player of a rival club but Sahal has drawn a fair few oohs and aahs from the Kanteerva faithful

29th minute - Half-chance for Pakistan as a long-ball lands kindly for Muhammad Sufiyan. But he slices his shot well wide.

24th minute - Lallianzuala Chhangte with a snapshot, but it goes straight to the goalkeeper at the end of a threatening move from the hosts.

20th minute - India continues to dominate possession. Just a few stray chances for the visitors, but nothing really to test Amrinder Singh in the India goal.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): Two in quick succession for Chhetri and the Kanteerava is bouncing. They want a hat-trick from their icon tonight and with the way Pakistan are playing, he might get one this half itself

15th minute - GOAL FOR INDIA! Sunil Chhetri, with his trademark one-step run-up slots home to double India’s lead. Anirudh Thapa’s shot was blocked by the hand of a Pakistan defender that led to the spot-kick. India now in a commanding position in this match.


10th minute - GOAL FOR INDIA! It’s Sunil Chhetri once again! The Pakistan goalkeeper Saqib Hanif fluffs what should have been a straight-forward clearance and the ball falls straight to the charging Chhetri. The India skipper takes a few touches to control and make space before slotting into an empty net.

Update from Dilip Unnikrishnan (from the stadium): Pakistan goalkeeper Saqib Hanif has faced the brunt of the boos from the Kanteerava crowd purely for taking too much time to get rid of the ball

8th minute - First big chance for India. A wayward goalkick by the Pakistani goalkeeper falls straight to Sunil Chhetri, but the India skipper’s long-range effort is blocked by a defender.

5th minute - India dominating possession in the first five minutes of play, but no good chance at goal just yet.

For the first time at home since 2014, against Pakistan, we’re off!

Here's the Pakistan team's lineup

The teams are out in the middle of the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The national anthems are about to start.

Kuwait beat Nepal 3-1 in the opening match of the tournament.

Hello and welcome to Scroll’s live coverage India’s first match of the 2023 SAFF Championship at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The defending champions and hosts play Pakistan in their first match in Group A.

An India versus Pakistan always serves up some intrigue. But there’s a huge gulf in class between the two teams when it comes to football. India, the hosts, are fresh off winning the Intercontinental Cup title. The Pakistan team meanwhile landed in India in the wee hours of Wednesday. There may be a hint of travel fatigue and jet-lag from the visitors, but this contest may prove to be a cracker nonetheless.

Screenshots in the blog courtesy: Fancode

Match live: Fancode in India