Maldives loose to Nepal, and is out of U-15 SAFF Championship 2017.

In the ongoing under 15 SAFF Championship (first of its kind), Maldives has lost their second match for the tournament to Nepal by 6-0. Being defeated by India on a big goal merging, today’s match against hosting Nepal was the last life line to survive in the tournament. But it seems it is not the time for Maldives right now as Nepal and India, the two favorites, enters the semifinal round.

Unlike Maldives first match against India, in today’s match against Nepal, Maldives had few good chances to make their name to the score sheet. Being perfectly fit to the home climate, Nepal proved themselves on the pitch with good passing game as they were backed by the home fans cheering on the stand. 20914669_1816924004992208_2909174622272414241_n20914617_1816940428323899_6628591600732951767_n

Maldives started the match with one change for the starting lineup than the previous match. Team’s captain, Ahmed Samaah was left out as he was substituted in the first match against India due to a muscle cramp. Instead for Samaah, Yaish Mushthafa came to fill the spot. Therefore  vice-captain Ibrahim Imran was leading the match wearing the captain arm band.

As the match the began, Nepal seems to be getting in the game. In the 5th minute Maldives got a very good chance to take the lead of the match and keep their hopes alive in the tournament. Captain Imran found the ball and tapped it while Nepal keeper could not reach out to the back pass from his team mate. Imran missed the chance as his tap in went just wide out from the near post.

Nepal took the lead of the match in the 14th minute. A cross from Dharsan Gurung found the waiting player inside the box, Birjesh Chaudhary, who headed the ball into the goal giving the lead to the home side. Maldives was finding difficult to keep the ball possession as Nepal were in a better shape than the junior red snappers.

It was Dharsan Gurun from Nepal who doubled the lead for his side at the 22nd minute from inside the box.  Nepal was force to make their first substitution at the 34th minute as Ranjan Pun suffered and injury and Aakash came to replace him. Nepal seems to be very confident on their home, playing good combination moves. It did not take long enough for Nepal for their third. Maldives concedes a penalty as they tried to stop Nepali player, Dharsan, the second goal scorer, as he dribbled pass three Maldivian players. Roshan Rana made his name to the score sheet as he20992522_1816912358326706_7887857580985200979_n20914493_1817001634984445_5672113312519549341_n20953954_1816973994987209_4472668104391615499_nmakes it 3-0 for Nepal from the spot.

Maldives goal keeper Mohamed Raif was busy at the goal as Nepal was making continues threat to his goal. He made a very fine save in the near post as Nepali player, Birjesh, the match opener scorer entered the box after easily beating the left back of Maldives.

Nepal players tried to stop Maldives whenever they had the possession, one way or another, committing too much fouls. Nepal conceded five free kicks during the first half. But Maldives players could not use the most out of it and could not make a change to the score line from those set pieces.

During the injury time of the first half, substitute player Aakash from Nepal made it 4-0 for his side as Maldives defenders failed to clear the ball from inside the box. Match went to interval and Nepal on lead by 4-0.

Maldives started the second half with a change. Captain Ahmed Samaah came in replacing Ismail Yooh.

Just two minutes into the second half, Nepal scored their fifth from a free kick at the 57th minute. Aakash found the back of the net as Maldives defenders could not clear the punch from the goal keeper which just dropped in front of Aakash.

With Samaah coming in, somehow Maldives midfield was able to keep the ball for little longer than in his absence as he has the skill to carry the ball. Though Nepal scored their first in the second half (their fifth goal), Maldives looked much better on ball than the previous half with making good attacking moves too. As a result Maldives got pretty good two chances. At the 52nd minute, Samaah’s shot was saved by Nepal goal keeper while four minutes later, at the 56th minute, Imran’s one against one shot went wide away.

Nepal brought out their second substitute at the 58th minute, Bipin Thapa replacing Karlosh Bakariya. Nepal kept giving constant threat to Maldives. However Maldives were unable to stop Nepal from scoring another one. In the 73rd minute Nepal scored their sixth. Birjesh scored his brace from a powerful shot at the edge of the box leaving Maldives goal keeper Mohamed Raif action less.

Maldives brought out a much better second half, bringing fresh players on the field. And to be honest, much better game than their first one against India. Maldives looked much confidence in ball possession as coach Mohamed Shaazly brought fresh feets on the field. At the 77th minute Areen Abdulla came in replacing Alim Abdul LAtheef and in the 82nd minute Mohamed Naish came in for Ismail Yooh.

 Nepal tried stop Maldives one way or another committing continuous fouls. As a result just before reaching the regular time, at the 88th minute, Nepal player Roshan Dong was sent off a foul play and being booked double. Maldives was unable to keep their hopes alive for this year’s championship and to reach the semifinals.

Speaking to post match press, winning side Nepal coach, Sunil Shrestha said that, “We are happy with the game though we could convert all the chances we got. We played full attack game as we focused on that in the training also. Players are very ecxcited for the game. We will improved our game for the next match both attacking and defense wise also.”

On the other hand, Maldives coach Mohamed Shaazly said that, “ Before anything else, I would like to congratulate the home side, Nepal. I am very thankful for this tournament. I wish we have played against Nepal first and then India. Nepal and our players physical shape is just as same. We created good chances today. And I am very happy with my player’s performance today. They are very  talented football loving players.”

Nepal and India advance to semifinals from group B and on the other side, Bhutan and Bangladesh also advance to semifinals from group A as Sri Lanka also lost their both matches same like Maldives.


21 August 2017