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POST TIME: 8 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Sri Lanka draw with Maldives 0-0
Sports Reporter

Sri Lanka draw with Maldives 0-0

Sri Lanka kept up a slim hope to make a room in the semifinal of the SAFF Suzuki Cup Football Tournament when they forced Maldives for a goalless draw yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.  It’s do or die match for Sri Lanka to remain in the race for semifinal berth as it was their last group match after conceding defeat to India in the opener when it was first match of Maldives and one match left to play.

It was predicted that Maldives would get an easy win against Sri Lanka but the scenario reversed when the favourites narrowly escaped from defeat and the latter bounced back strongly in the second half getting rid of the pressure of opening 45 minutes.    

Sri Lanka, who are used to play with counterattack strategy, on the day looked very lively than their first match and also worked well with their process of going for attacks after handling the all strong assaults from Maldives.

Maldives, who had some clear dominance in the first half, could take lead early but Mohammed Mujuthaaz disappointed failing to

contact his sliding closely to the goal-line inside 15th minute.

After the goalless first half, Sri Lanka became aggressive to halt Maldives, at one stage they came to produce some strong attacks to make huge threats going closer to score goals.

Coach Pakir Ali looked happy with his boys’ not to leave a single approach without challenge, as at the late hour of the match, especially in the last half an hour of the match Sri Lanka played almost one-sided match to open four good scoring chances.

But lack of cool finishers and outstanding saves from goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal, when Asela Madhusan and Kavindu Ishan’s efforts from the box on 82nd minute and Kavindu Ishan’s another attempt two minutes later was turned down by goalkeeper.

The last and the easiest chance of the match came to Sri Lankan ways but this time Asikur Rahman was very much shaky to take his volley over the cross piece rather than into the open net on 87th minute.

Now, Sri Lanka have a slim chance to move into the semifinal if Maldives go down to India by 3-0. The draw of Maldives-Sri Lanka match means India move into the semifinal as the first team.