Kathmandu: Afghanistan won its first international trophy in football on Wednesday, beating India 2-0 in the South Asian Football Federation Championship.
The Afghans, who were a founding member of the Asian Football Confederation in 1954, have a long football history but only recently re-emerged on the world scene after decades of war and insurgency. When the Taliban ruled from 1996-2001, they severely restricted sports and football stadiums were used to stage executions of those who ran afoul of the Islamist movement's harsh laws. (Afghanistan dash India's hat-trick hopes)
Afghanistan has never played at the World Cup, or even at the Asian Cup. But the country has been getting better in recent years, rising up the FIFA rankings to No. 139 on the latest list.