Dec 31, 4 years ago

India into the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015 into the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015

India came out the better side in an entertaining semi final clash against Maldives to win the game 3-2 and buy their ticket into the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015. The hosts created plenty of chances right until the end and restricted Maldives to very few clear cut opportunities.


A brace from Jeje Lalpekhlua along with a Sunil Chhetri header helped India better the Maldivian attack that had to make do with an Ahmed Nashid finish on the stroke of half time.

India went into the match with a similar first team line up that took to the field against Nepal in their first match of the tournament, with Gurpreet Sandhu and Hali Charan Narzary coming into the team to replace Subrata Paul and injured Robin Singh. Maldives rested several of their key players including Ali Ashfaq against Afghanistan, and they were restored into the lineup for the crucial semi final fixture against the hosts.

The first chance of the game went the way of the hosts in the 12th minute as Arnab Mondal’s shot from inside the box struck Hali Charan who was in an offside position, before going into the net.The crowd rose to celebrate but the linesman had his flag raised.

The hosts continued to fashion good chances. In the 20th minute, Bikash Jairu’s shot went over the bar after he had played a wonderful one-two with Sunil Chhetri. The hosts opened their lead through a Suni Chhetri header 5 yards from goal after Hali Charan played a good cross to find him unmarked at the far post.

India threatened to extend their lead in the 29th minute when Pritam Kotal played a dangerous cross into the box but a terrific double save from Imran Mohamed, first fromChhetri, then from Jeje Lalpekhlua on the rebound made sure India’s lead remained 1-0.

The second goal came in the 33rd minute when Hali Charan played a wonderful ball over the Maldivian defence to pick up Jeje Lalpekhlua’s run. The forward finished wonderfully to make it 2-0.

Ali Ashfaq came close through a free kick outside the box in the 38th minute but Maldives were finding it difficult to gain a foothold in the match. But a lapse in concentration on the stroke of half time allowed Maldives to come back into the game after Imaaz Ahmed’s lay off inside the box was converted by Ahmed Nashid to make it 2-1.

India started the second half in bright fashion and their skill on the ball resulted in them extending their lead further. In the 65th minute, Sunil Chhetri passed to Jeje Lalpekhlua inside the box who outfoxed his marker before beating the keeper.

The overnight sensation Lallianzuala Chhangte replaced Sunil Chhetri in the 74th minute but Maldives pulled another goal back just a minute later when Ali Amdhan headed in a corner to make it 3-2.

In the 84th minute,Bikash Jairu’s shot from way outside the box was deflected into the path of Jeje Lalpekhlua, and the forward looking to become the first player to score a hat trick in SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015, curled a shot over the bar.

The island nation failed to fashion enough chances in the final minutes which meant the hosts saw off the threat of the Maldivian attack until the final whistle to progress into the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup 2015.



© | Triomedia PPL | Source |

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