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Friday
Sep132013

Afghanistan Erupts for Championship Soccer Team

SHAH MARAI/AFP/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Afghanistan is still on a post-soccer championship high.

Late Wednesday, the Afghan national men's team defeated India, 2-0, at Dasarath Rangasala Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.

It turned out to be Afghanistan's first international soccer trophy in the South Asian tournament and was particularly sweet because India was considered the favorite from the onset, having won the crown six times.

The victory set off a tsunami of happiness not usually seen in Afghanistan, which remains in the midst of a 12-year-long war with the Taliban and radical insurgents.

Thousands of people poured into Kabul's National Olympic Stadium to cheer and wave flags while there was literally dancing in the streets of the capital and even some celebratory gunfire.

The Afghan soccer team received the ultimate hero's welcome upon their return at Kabul airport with Afghan President Hamid Karzai greeting each player individually.

Amid the jubilation, there were promises that each player would get an apartment in the city.

Afghanistan is not exactly regarded as a soccer powerhouse, currently ranked 139th in the world.  At least for now, however, Afghans feel like world champs.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio