Nepal will play Maldives in the first semifinal of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018. Although they lost the group opener against Pakistan, Nepal topped the Group A with better goal difference ratio after beating Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The 2008 champion Maldives made their way into the semifinal in a convincing way. They haven’t won a single match nor scored a goal in group stage. Yet, they managed to pass through to the semifinals after winning the coin toss draw against Sri Lanka.
Both Nepali players Sunil Bal and Rohit Chand have created eight chances in this competition so far.
Nepal Captain Biraj Maharajan said, all the players are very confident and they will give everything for the nation tomorrow.
Bimal Gharti Magar of Nepal has already scored twice in this competition will be looking to add another to top goal scoring chart.
Maldives will be looking to score their first goal of the competition and they might start Ali Fasir, Hamza Mohamed and Hassan Naiz who was on the bench against India.
WHAT MANAGERS SAY:
Maldivian Coach Petar Segrt said that, his team is very lucky to feature in the semifinal of the competition. But tomorrow they will play for a result. He also said, Nepal is a strong team and they will try their best to reach the final and they will also change their system and work on a few things too.
“I am still the coach of Maldives football team and no one is taking my place. I will do everything to win this game. I want everyone to get behind the team and support us tomorrow.” He added.
Nepal Coach Bal Gopal Maharjan said that, they have never been in final of this competition before and this time he has lots of confidence about the game against Maldives. He also said, he believes in his players and they have shown exceptionally good attacking football so far.
“I think tomorrow can be the next story in Nepali football. The players have the potential to perform. My players look motivated to perform and I have confidence in them. We can score more goals tomorrow and reach the final”. He added.
HEAD TO HEAD
Nepal have never won against the Maldives in six previous SAFF Suzuki Cup meetings. Maldives won four and drew two in these six meetings scoring 14 goals.
Nepal beat Maldives 4-1 in Bangabandhu Gold Cup Semifinal in 2016 and they also beat them in South Asian Games by 4-3.
Nawayug Shreshtha scored a hattrick against Maldives in those two games.