The 2008 winner Maldives drew 0-0 against Sri Lanka today in the second match of Group B in SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
Today’s result means India will advance into the Semifinals as they have already beaten Sri Lanka in group opener.
Maldives started the match in their traditional red jersey, while Sri Lanka were in yellow.
The first chance came inside 2 minutes of the game. Ibrahim Waheed’s close range header from Hassan Naiz’s corner was well saved by the Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Perera.
Maldives won a good freekick for a foul on Hamza Mohamed at the edge of the penalty area and the resulting free kick by Ali Fasir hits the post. After 3 minutes, Sujan Perea saved another good free kick effort from Maldivian skipper Akram Abdul Ghanee. Sri Lanka scored a goal in 21st minute. But it was ruled out for an offside.
Hassan Naiz had a chance right after Lankan offside goal. But it was saved from close range by the experience Sujan Perera once again. Lanka also had a good chance to take the lead before the half time. Afeel Mohamed’s curling effort went over the bar as the first half ended 0-0.
Sri Lanka had two good chances at the start of second half. But both the strikes were saved inside the six-yard box by Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal. In the 51st minute, Maldives had a good free kick once again right outside the box and Ali Fasir’s effort went wide from close range.
Ali Fasir tried to find Ibrahim Waheed in the penalty area in the 52nd minute with a low through pass but, it went too close to the goalkeeper. Sri Lanka also had a good chance when Asikur Rahuman’s long range effort from more than 40 yards went straight to the hands of Maldivian goalkeeper. Maldives made their first change in the 68th minute as Riham Abdul Ghanee came on for the injured Hamza Mohamed and the second change in the 77th minute when Ibrahim Mahudhee replaced Hassan Naiz.
In the final ten minutes, Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal made two important saves to keep them in the match. One from Lanka forward Asela Madhushan and one Midfield Kavindhu Ishan.
The best chance in the second half came when Sri Lankan forward Hewage Kavindu dribbled pass through Maldivian defender and fires a shot from inside the box. But his shot was once again saved by the inform maldivian goalkeeper. Maldives also scored a goal in the next attack but Riham Abdul Ghanee was ruled out for an offside. Although both teams tried to find a goal before the match, it ended goalless.
This result means, Maldives has to avoid a defeat against defending champion and old rival India by two goals deficit in the last game of the group. And then, they will advance into the semifinals and Sri Lanka will be out of the competition.
Maldives will play India on Sunday.