Maldives advance in to the semifinals of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after winning by toss against Sri Lanka.
Maldives lost today’s last group match by 2-0 at the hands of India. This meant Maldives and Sri Lanka are now level on points, goal difference, goals conceded and head-to-head. And the team who goes into the semi-final was decided by a coin toss held after today’s match between Maldives and Sri Lanka. Captain Akram Abdul Ghanee represented Maldives while Subhash Madhushan took the toss on behalf of Sri Lanka and The Red Snappers came out as winners by toss.
Maldives made five changes to their starting eleven leaving Ali Fasir, Hassan Naiz and Hamza Mohamed on bench for Asadhulla Abdulla, Ahmed Imaaz and Ibrahim Waheed. India who already are in semifinal made five changes to their starting eleven prior to the previous match. Maldives started the game in blue while India were in orange.
The first attack came inside 8 minutes of the half. Mohamed Arif’s defensive header hits his own goal’s crossbar from Lallianzuala’s cross. After 3 minutes, Nikhil Chandrashekhar’s header went over the bar from Anirudh Thapa’s fine cross. In the 24th minute, Anirudh Thapa finds Farukh Choudhary with a fine pass over the Maldives defense. His left foot effort went into the hands of Maldivian goalkeeper as there were not enough power in his shot.
India took the lead in the 36th minute. Nikhil Chandrashekar Poojari comfortably put the ball into the net from a fine one two pass with his teammate. And they double the lead before the half time. Manvir Singh’s neat finish to the far corner from Jerry Lalrinzuala’s pass ended 2-0 to the Indians.
Both team made their first substitution at the break. Hamza Mohamed came in for Ahmed Imaaz and Vignesh Dakshinamurthy replaces Lallianzuala Chhangte for India. India came close scoring a third. Farukh Choudhary’s shot saved by Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal. Maldives made their second change in the 69th minute. Ali Fasir replaces Abdulla Asadhulla.
Maldives barely threatened the Inidan defense throughout the second half. Their best chance came in the 79th minute when Mohamed Irufan found Ali Fasir with a beautiful through pass. But, he was out run by the Indian defender and clears it out. Ali Fasir came close from a free kick in the 89th minute. His strike was pushed away for a corner by Indian goalkeeper Vishal Kaith. The Match ended 0-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Table toppers India will play against the Pakistan and Maldives will play Group A winners in semifinals on Wednesday.