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Afghanistan celebrates 1st international soccer title
Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Afghanistan beat India 2-0 Wednesday night to take home its first international soccer title in the South Asian Football Federation Championship.

The win united a divided nation, as young and old celebrated in Kabul as they watched their national team take home the trophy in Kathmandu, Nepal.

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"I am extremely happy, and I am very proud," said Waheedullah, who like many Afghans goes by one name. "How I can explain my feelings? My friends and I were just praying, praying to be champions. It's one of the happiest days of my life."

Afghanistan was a founding member of the SAFFC, but the Taliban's rule over the country from 1996 to 2001 put a severe restriction on sports. It was only recently that the team reemerged after the US ousted the Taliban 12 years ago.

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Afghanistan soccer players celebrate winning the SAFF Championship 2013 trophy after defeating India during the final match in Kathmandu on September 11, 2013. Afghanistan won the match 2-0.

(PRAKASH MATHEMA - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghans watch their national football team as they celebrate victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, at the Kabul stadium on September 12, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Afghan football fan runs with the national flag as he celebrates their national football team's victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, at the Kabul stadium on September 12, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghans celebrates their national football team's victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, at the Kabul stadium on September 12, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghans watch their national football team as they celebrate victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, at the Kabul stadium on September 12, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghans celebrates their national team's victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, in Kabul on September 11, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan fans of football celebrate winning the SAFF Championship 2013 trophy after their team defeated India during the final match, in the streets of Kabul on September 11, 2013. Afghanistan won its first international trophy in football on September 11, beating India 2-0 in the South Asian Football Federation Championship.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghans celebrates their national team's victory in the South Asian Football Federation Championship, in Kabul on September 11, 2013. Revenge-seeking Afghanistan broke India's stranglehold on the SAFF title with an impressive 2-0 win over the two-time defending champions in Kathmandu on September 11.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan fans of football celebrate winning the SAFF Championship 2013 trophy after their team defeated India during the final match, in the streets of Kabul on September 11, 2013. Afghanistan won its first international trophy in football on September 11, beating India 2-0 in the South Asian Football Federation Championship.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan fans of football celebrate winning the SAFF Championship 2013 trophy after their team defeated India during the final match, in the streets of Kabul on September 11, 2013. Afghanistan won its first international trophy in football on September 11, beating India 2-0 in the South Asian Football Federation Championship.

(SHAH MARAI - AFP/Getty Images)
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