India beat Maldives on penalties
Dhaka, BANGLADESH – India never allowed Maldives to beat them thrice in a row and perfectly took the revenge of final loss in Colombo in 2008. India keeper Arindam continued his splendid performance keeping Maldives at bay and saved two penalties to win the title for a fifth time.
Most notable disappointment from Maldives was failure to play their usual passing game and instead fell a victim of India’s long ball strategy. India continued their stability in all departments, most notably at the back.
Maldives only managed to get their feet back on the ball in the extra two halves and in regular time they rarely trouble the Indian defense.
Maldives completely outplayed the Indians in the extra period of the game and chances came in numbers but failed to convert any. All thanks to India’s superb custodian Arindam.
India could have scored the winner in the extra period if Sushil was sharp enough to kick the loose ball from Imran in the second period of extra time but Imran blocked his shot.
Maldives skipper Ashfaq could have finished the game off later in the game but after beating his markers he fired the ball inches over the cross bar.
In the penalty kicks, Jibon, Denzil and Subodh converted their respective spot kicks while Nirmal fired wide.
Ibrahim Fazeel was the only player to score for Maldives on penalties. Thoriq and Mukhthar’s kicks were well saved by Arindam and Ashfaq fired the crucial one wide.
India keeper Arindam was named the best players of the tournament. Ahmed Thoriq, Channa (Sri Lanka) and Enamul (Bangladesh) shared the top scorer award with each scored four goals. Bangladesh was awarded the fair play award.
This is the second time Maldives lost SAFF championship on penalties and interestingly Bangabandhu stadium is the venue on both occasions.