Reigning champion India will meet old rival Maldives in the last game of group B.
India are already in the semifinal after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 earlier in the tournament.
Maldives and Sri Lanka shared a point each in a goalless draw. A win or a draw will take Maldives through to the last four. But, a convincing defeat at the hands of India will see Sri Lanka progress instead.
Maldives won their first SAFF Suzuki Cup beating India 1-0 in 2008.
Petar Segrt was leading his former team Afghanistan who lost to India in the final of 2005.
Sumit Passi is the only one player above the age of 23 in Indian team.
Both Sarthak Golui and Ashique Kuruniyan were booked in India’s opener against Sri Lanka and it will be very concerning news for Constantine.
Maldives coach Petar Segrt might make few changes to starting XI when they play against the seven-time champion.
WHAT MANAGERS SAY:
Maldivian Coach Petar Segrt Said that, they have to respect team India as they have a strong team with very young and very good players. They are speedy and it will be difficult for them to recover in the two days’ time.
He also added they can get a positive result against India and make their way through to the semifinals.
Indian Head coach Stephen Constantine said, He is not a person who loves to focus on history too much as such facts doesn’t matter at all. They will be playing against a completely different Maldives team and Maldives is going to face a different Indian team.
“In this competition, we are not going to start as favorite in any of our matches. We are a young and inexperienced side and we are playing against senior sides. We can say we have a good chance to win this game. But I don’t feel we can be labelled as favorite before the kick-off.” He added.
HEAD TO HEAD
Maldives and India met each other 18 times in all competition. India won 13 times, Maldives won three times and the rest ended in draw.
Both have met each other 11 times in SAFF Suzuki Cup history. India winning 8 times and Maldives winning twice. They both shared just one draw in this tournament back in 1999.
The last time Maldives beat India in SAFF Suzuki Cup is in 2009 by 1-0.
Maldives also lost each of their last four games against India in the SAFF Suzuki Cup.