Important win after a brace from Ashfaq

Sep 06, 2016 - 09:36:32 | Shimaaz Ali
Ashfaq doubles the lead for the Maldives. (Photo: Ibrahim Faid)

Male’, MALDIVES – Ali Ashfaq helped the Maldives to win against Laos by 4-0 tonight in the AFC Asian Cup Qualification after a brace on his birthday. Ali Fasir scored the opening goal in the first half.

Maldives played very well in front of a full house stadium against Laos and the first attempt came from Ahmed Abdulla in the 4th minute from a descent header that’s went straight to the gloves of the keeper.

Ali Fasir broke the deadlock in the 16th minute from a wonderful shot inside the box when Ahmed Abdulla headed the ball to him.

In the half hour mark keeper Imran Mohamed was forced to stop a shot from Laos.

In the additional time of the first half skipper Ali Ashfaq missed a golden opportunity to double the lead. Laos’s defender blocked his shot inside the box.

Four minutes into the second half Ahmed Abdulla hits the woodwork from another descent shot inside the box.

A minute later Ali Ashfaq missed a golden opportunity to double the lead. He controlled the cross from Ahmed Abdulla inside the box and failed to make the shot.

Asadhulla Abdulla scored a goal in the 54th minute from a descent pass from Ashfaq but it was ruled out for an offside.

Ashfaq missed another good chance to score in the hour mark after beating the keeper and shot it over the bar.

Ali Asfaq doubled the lead in the 61st minute from a good shot in the six-yard box on his birthday. Fasir’s attempt was blocked and Ashfaq fired from the rebounded ball.

Hussain Niyaz increased the margin for Maldives in the 86th minute, Laos player tried to clear the cross from Hussain Niyaz but it ended with a goal.

In the additional time of the game Laos keeper was forced to stop another descent shot from Rizuwan, who came as a substitute.

Ali Ashfaq scored his second of the night from a stunning shot inside the box after beating Laos defender.

Maldives will play against Laos on 11th October in the second leg with a huge advantage of qualifying for the group stages after a 2-0 win in their first leg tonight.



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poor on Sep 07
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Lets face the truth. Ashfaq is a legend, but he is getting old. He missed 3 scoring opportunities. And he is not ruthless in front of goal like before. At most he should be given game time of 60 or so minutes. Not more than that. Give the youngsters more opportunity. And where was messi?
Boyko on Sep 07
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Dhangandey looked a spent force for much of the game until he managed to bundle in one through sheer luck and hapless defending from Laos. His second was much needed respite and a big relief for a player who spent the night so wasteful in front of the goal. It was so unreal for the fans to see a struggling Ashfaq when they are so used to his trademark individual goals. Anyway happy birthday dhagey! What better way to celebrate your birthday than important goals!
Imma on Sep 07
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Problem is, he's a legend so people would automatically choose to forget his performance and proceed to vote him as man of the match due to his two goals, which glossed over what was a less than stellar display. If we are not careful with him, he could become our Wayne Rooney; once the star man of the team, but now a burden. Of course, Ashfaq is still a very good player by Maldivian standards, but I think he's better served further down the pitch. He had a hand in almost all the goals in the last two games by playing in very good balls to the scorers and assisters. Perhaps he can tweak his game a little and become our midfield maestro.
well wisher on Sep 07
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great to sè the youngsters come out with a good performance..wonderful positive still like to see the fullbacks involved in the attacks a bit more....GO MALDIVES...any one heard of miraash? will he get the call for national team?
hope on Sep 07
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lets add miraash to this team ...
Kareem on Sep 07
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There was no full house but lots of people. Is it 4-0 or 2-0? Amateurs at the news.
Footy on Sep 07
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In a short period this coach has done a wonderful job. An air of despondency with in the camp has been replaced by a vibrancy not seen in years. His inspirational management has reawakened the spirit of togetherness. Players are now working their back off for one another, for the team, for the country. If he is hired on a long term basis Maldives has a bright future. You can only hope FAM has discarded their recent method of hiring and firing of coaches on the yearly basis!
hope on Sep 08
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yes, looks very good, and our youngsters performance are very good, hope he will stay for a long period and I hope Miraash will play in this years SAFF SUZUKI CUP or ASIAN CUP QUALIFYING 2019 GROUP STAGE ... lets arrange more friendlies (Asia's top countries, ) every year Result is not important only to give a good fight ... Dont let us down, Team
Imma on Sep 07
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Some very encouraging signs and a great victory! The fact that we scored a total of 4 goals, two in stoppage time in our last two games gives me a lot of hope. For one thing, our players are usually totally spent after the hour mark, and the renewed energy and determination we saw this past week is a result of intelligent management by Darren Stewart. Instead of asking players to make continuous lung bursting runs down the channel, Stewart's style of play is a lot more suited to the generally low fitness standards of our players. Much of the play is very controlled, with all the players dropping deep when we lose the ball and slowly building attacks when we get the ball. Under Herbert's leadership, we often saw wingers, central midfielders and fullbacks being asked to bomb forward, and it left our panicky defenders completely exposed. There was very little link up play between the defenders and the rest of the pitch. Stewart assures that all the players combine well with each other, and it was great to see the likes of Hampu in particular get back to help Hockey when Laos tried to make forages into our penalty area. I think there is still a lot of work to be done, starting from the away leg, particularly in the middle of the park. We still tend to concentrate a lot of our attacks from the flanks, which could become a bit predictable when we play against better opposition, so I hope the likes of Imran Nasheed and Rizuwan, who hold up the ball really well, get more opportunities in the future.