Football: Afghan ecstasy after easy victory over Pakistan
KABUL (AFP) - Afghanistan's football team sparked rowdy celebrations across the war-battered nation on Tuesday after securing an convincing 3-0 win over arch-rivals Pakistan in the first international match in Kabul for 10 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 Islamist extremism.
Afghanistan, ranked at 139th in the world, just above Pakistan, gave home fans little to worry about, dominating the game from the kick-off and going three goals ahead mid-way through the second half.
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 and bitter adversity.