Maldives comfortably beat Nepal to advance in to the finals of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 after nine years.
Maldives failed to register a goal in the group stage scored thrice today. A brace from Midfielder Ibrahim Waheed and a stunning early free kick from Captain Akram Abdul Ghanee secure a spot in the final.
Speaking at the post match press conference, Maldives Coach Petar Segrt said, he does not want to take credit for today’s win because all the praise for the win goes to his players.
I never wanted my players to feel any kind of pressure before the match. That’s why I faced all the critics rather allowing my players to face those. He added.
I wanted to protect my players. That’s why I faced all the critics.
He also said that, there were some important players in this team before and he respects them a lot. “That was the past, and now it’s time for the young generation to shine.” He added.
The last time Maldives played in SAFF Suzuki Cup final was in 2009 at Bangladesh where Maldives lost against Indian U-23 side on penalties. Maldives also played in 2003 final which was held in Bangladesh.
Segrt also said that, he told the players to forget what happened in the past nine years and do something people talks about and be proud of them now.
When asked why he didn’t use his defensive midfielder Mohamed Arif he replied, “I didn’t use Arif in today’s game because he was on a yellow, and one more could miss him the final.” He said.
Maldives will face rival India in SAFF Suzuki Cup final on Saturday.