Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will take on each other in the semi-final of the 2018 South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka on September 12 (Wednesday).
India, despite the absence of regulars Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sandesh Jhingan and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, are unbeaten in the tournament. Stephen Constantine's young outfit topped the three-team Group B with two wins from two outings, thanks to identical 2-0 victories against Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Pakistan reached the last-four after finishing second, behind Nepal, in the Group A. They have won two matches from three outings, 2-1 against Nepal and 3-0 against Bhutan. They lost to hosts Bangladesh by a solitary goal.
India, the overwhelming favourites to win the title for a record-extending 8th time, will hope to maintain their superiority over Pakistan with yet another commanding performance. India have won 18 of the 31 meetings between the two countries, with five matches ending in draws.
In their last meeting, India won 1-0 in 2013.
Pakistan are making a return to international football after serving a FIFA imposed ban for undue third-party interference in the country's football federation (PFF).
India have reached the last four in each of the previous 11 editions, winning all but once. In the 2003 edition, held in Dhaka, India finished third after defeating Pakistan 2-1 in the play-off. India lost to hosts Bangladesh in the semis.
Pakistan have never gone past the semi-final stage. Their best finish was a third-place effort in 1997.
In the last edition’s final, India beat defending champions Afghanistan 2-1 in extra-time at Thiruvananthapuram to exact the 2013 defeat.
In another semi-final, Nepal take on Maldives.
Here's everything else you need to know about the match:
Timing: 7:30 PM (IST)
TV Listing: D Sport
Live Streaming: Jio TV, Airtel TV
FIFA Rankings: India – 96; Pakistan – 201
India: GK - Vishal Kaith (1), Kamaljit Singh (16), Sukhdev Patil (30); DF - Salam Ranjan (2), Subhasish Bose (captain/3), Davinder Singh (5), Jerry Lalrinzuala (6), Sarthak Golui (21), Mohammad Sajid Dhot (29); MF - Anirudh Thapa (7), Germanpreet Singh (8), Vinit Rai (14), Ashique Kuruniyan (19), Vignesh Dakshinamurthy (21), Nikhil Poojari (22), Lallianzuala Chhangte (25); FW - Manvir Singh (9), Sumeet Passi (10), Hitesh Sharma (11), Farukh Choudhary (15)
Head coach: Stephen Constantine (ENG)
Pakistan: GK - Yousuf Butt (1), Ahsanullah Ahmed (18), Saqib Hanif (22); DF - Mohammad Umar Hayat (2), Mohsin Ali (3), Abdullah Qazi (4), Zesh Rehman (6), Faisal Iqbal (23), Shehbaz Younus (28); MF - Naveed Ahmed (5), Bilawal Ur-Rehman (7), Mehmood Khan (8), Saadullah Khan (12), Saddam Hussain (Captain/17), Muhammad Adil (21), Faheem Ahmed (27); FW - Muhammad Ali (9), Hassan Bashir (10), Adnan Mohammad (14), Muhammad Riaz (16)
Head coach: Jose Antonio Nogueira (BRA)