Sri Lanka kept waiting for India-Maldives clash | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka kept waiting for India-Maldives clash

Sri Lanka’s Asela Madushan (in yellow) and Mohamed Mujuthaaz from the Maldives compete for the ball
Sri Lanka’s Asela Madushan (in yellow) and Mohamed Mujuthaaz from the Maldives compete for the ball

Sri Lanka’s chances of a berth in the semi-final will depend on the outcome of the game between India and the Maldives that is to be played today in the South Asian Football tournament here in Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka produced their best performance against the Maldives but the game ended in a scoreless draw due to some questionable decisions taken by the referee.

Sri Lanka were defeated 2-0 by India in the opening game and according to the points table Sri Lanka and Maldives have earned the same number of points.

If India beat Maldives by 3 goals to nil then Sri Lanka has a chance to advance to the semis, or if India win by just 2 goals to nil then Sri Lanka’s fate will be decided by the toss of a coin, according to the Football Federation of Sri Lanka (FFSL).

Sri Lanka coach Pakeer Ali told the Sunday Observer that he was very impressed with the performance of the team and expected the same in the match against India. But due to the mistakes made by the team India emerged winners.

He further noted that in the past the Sri Lanka team was defeated by big margins even by the Maldives, but the current situation is different today.

Sri Lanka had substantial chances in the game against Maldives in Group ‘B’, but the Maldivians took control early in the game.

Hamzath Mohamed and Ali Fasir played attacking football that troubled the Sri Lanka defence time and again. Along with striker Hassan Naiz, the three managed to create plenty of chances and attempted eight shots between them during the match.

The Sri Lankan defence somehow managed to hold their own and came back after half-time with renewed vigor. Nizam Packeer Ali’s side created several chances in the second-half, with Kavindu Ishan coming close to getting his side ahead. Eventually, neither team could get the goal they scored due to the linesmen signalling the player off-side each time. “We had a lot of chances. In the beginning we attacked right away. The Sri Lankan goalkeeper was very good and made a lot of saves,” said Petar Segrt, head coach of the Maldives.

“Both teams played a fast and open game. Both teams wanted to win and had a lot of chances. They created many chances, the goalkeeping was very good and I must congratulate all my players,” said Nizam Pakeer Ali the Sri Lanka coach. The Maldives will face India in the final Group B match. If the Red Snappers can take a point in the game, they will go through. If they are defeated, it would depend on who has the better goal difference.