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Afghans Celebrate First Soccer Trophy

Warm Welcome Home For Afghan Soccer Team
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Afghans greet the national soccer team after their 2-0 win over India in the South Asian Football Federation championship.

Afghans are celebrating their country's first soccer trophy. Afghanistan defeated India 2-0 on September 11, winning the South Asian Football Federation championship.

President Hamid Karzai received and congratulated every member of the team at Kabul International Airport early on September 12. The result triggered celebrations in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.

Fans in cars and on motorbikes joined others on foot to cheer, blow horns, and wave Afghan flags throughout the night.

Soccer suffered under the Taliban regime, which severely restricted sports and used stadiums for executions during its 1996-2001 rule.

Although Afghanistan has never played in the World Cup, or even in the Asian Cup, the country has been getting better in recent years, rising up the FIFA rankings to No. 139 on the latest list.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and