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Football: India, Maldives clash to decide Sri Lanka’s fate at SAFF 2018

Sunday, 9 September 2018 Sport


Sri Lanka’s chances of progressing in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup Tournament would depend on the outcome of the clash between India and the Maldives at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday (9).
 
Defending champions India are currently on top of Group ‘B’ following their 2-0 victory over Sri Lanka who are jointly placed second along with the Maldives after their goalless draw on Friday (7).
 
Sri Lanka would be knocked-out from the semi-finals if the Maldives beat India but the islanders would qualify in case India triumph by a 3-0 margin. 

However, the Maldives even if they lose this game, still could make it to the semi-finals if they could score just one goal against the Indians. 

As Sri Lanka could not score a goal in their previous two games, the chances are very much in favour of the Maldives. 

Even then, Sri Lanka Coach Pakir Ali believed that his team could reach the semi-finals although he is not ready to make any kind of predictions. 

He was also pleased with Sri Lanka’s performances in the two outings especially in the manner they performed in the second half against the Maldives. 

“I think we came back strongly in the second half to put a lot of pressure on the opposition and we were also unfortunate to miss out on a couple of scoring opportunities due to some official blunders.” 

“I am really satisfied with this performance and the manner in which goal-keeper Sujan Perera performed was really outstanding,” added Pakir Ali. 

In fact this was a huge turnaround from this Sri Lankan outfit as they were humiliated 0-10 by the Maldives in their previous meeting in 2013. 

The semi-finals of the tournament would be worked off on Wednesday (12) and the final is scheduled for Saturday (15). 

Football: India, Maldives clash to decide Sri Lanka’s fate at SAFF 2018