6:30 PM: Hello everyone and welcome to Khel Now’s LIVE COVERAGE of the India vs Maldives match in SAFF U-20 Championship 2022. The kick-off is just half an hour away! I’m your host Vinayak S Sivan, and I’ll be keeping you company through what promises a fascinating evening of football. Please wait for 30 Seconds for Live blog to load.

India vs Maldives: Build-up

After losing out to Bangladesh in the first SAFF U-20 Championship encounter, India have made a solid comeback. The Blue Colts have successfully defeated Sri Lanka and Nepal in their next two outings. Also, they have scored 12 goals in those two matches and kept clean sheets!

Having earned an 8-0 victory against Nepal, India all but need to ensure a win against the Maldives to secure their berth in the Final.

“If we win our last game, we’re through, and that’s the most important thing,” said Venkatesh on the eve of the Maldives clash. “Having said that, we can’t take Maldives for granted. We have to respect them.”

India centre-back Halen Nongtdu echoed the coach’s words, saying that it’s time for team to remain focused.

“It’s just the beginning for us. As coach said, it was just our second win. We will have to move on and focus on our next one now,” said Halen.

Venkatesh, in fact, has warned his boys against complacency after the big win against Nepal.

“It was a very nice result for us in the last game, but I’ve told the boys to focus on the next game. It’s just the second win of the tournament for us, afterall. We have to get three more points,” he stated.

Match Preview: Read

The Blue Colts started off their campaign in the SAFF U-20 Championship with a 1-2 defeat against Bangladesh, but have picked up the pace since then, having scored 12 goals in he next two games, while conceding none. Helen attributed the newfound defensive organisation to the team’s mental strength and the ability to take positive learnings from mistakes.

“We made a few mistakes in our first game, but the important thing is that we’ve learnt from them. All the boys have shown great character to accept what they’ve done wrong and improve on that,” he said. ” We got together as a team and figured out how we can combine to produce the best results.”

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