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SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 Final Full Time: India 1-2 Maldives

Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar

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1-2
                Passi 90+2 Hussain 19'
                                        Fasir 66'

  

8:51 PM Captain Akram Ghanee receives the trophy and raises it with much happiness. Maldives might not have been the most convincing, but they turned up amazingly in the knockout rounds and rode their luck to win their 2nd SAFF Suzuki Cup. Hope you've enjoyed our coverage of the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018! This is Uttiyo Sarkar, signing out for Khel Now. Thanks and Good Night, Ladies and Gentlemen!

8:48 PM The Maldives players get the winners medals! The Indian players are respectable enough to give them a guard of honor and there seems to be a lot of mutual respect between the sides. 

8:45 PM The Indian players are receiving the runners-up medals. They do not seem happy at receiving them, but they surely didn't deserve the winners medals with their poor performance today. 

8:44 PM Maldives' goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal wins the MVP Award for the tournament. He was excellent throughout the tournament and was key to Maldives even having a chance to progress into the semi-finals!

8:43 PM Manvir Singh wins the Golden Boot for his 3 goals! He was excellent throughout the tournament, but failed to deliver the goods today. 

8:42 PM Bhutan win the Fairplay Award for their gracious attitude throughout the tournament. 

8:39 PM The referees and other officials receive their medals for their work throughout the tournament. 

8:36 PM The presentation ceremony is just about to start in a few minutes now. 

8:33 PM The Maldives players have gone across to celebrate their win with the fans. These supporters are a big reason for their win today and they seem to be having a blast right now. 

8:30 PM Peter Segrt, on the other hand, is absolutely delighted at the win. He thanks the fans for coming out in numbers on the day and emphatically declares how they deserved it. He also acknowledges that they were lucky, but the team who wins at the final is important. 

8:28 PM Stephen Constantine congratulates the Maldives team on the victory and admits they were the better team on the day. He also states that this will be a learning point for the young Indian players. 

8:27 PM The Maldives players are absolutely ecstatic at winning the SAFF Cup. They are celebrating in full flow while India look a ditched unit after having such a bright tournament prior to it. 

8:25 PM Well, what a story it has been for Maldives. They progressed into the semifinals on the virtue of a coin-toss and have avenged their earlier defeat to India in style. They were a much better team on the day and capatalized on India's laziness and complacency. 

90+5 India earn a final corner after a cross is set back, but don't get it as the referee blows the final whistle. MALDIVES WIN THE 2018 SAFF SUZUKI CUP!

90+4 FASIR ALMOST! The terrorizing winger is again set free on goal, but Subhshish does well to recover and makes Fasir scuff his shot straight at Kaith. 

90+2 GOOOALLL! INDIA PULL ONE BACK! The Blue Tigers finally manage to break Maldives resolve, as Poojar sends in a great cross from the right which goes past every Maldives deffender and is easily tucked into the net by Passi. 1-2!

90' 5 minutes of added time here at the Bangabandhu Stadium. Can India inspire a comeback in these last minutes? They always score!

88' Ashique sends in a really promisng ball into the middle, which is acrobatically saved by Faisal. Maldives made their final chance, with Hamza Mohamed going off for Arif

87' The Blue Tigers seem to have lost hope of winning at this point. Maldives have packed their defenders in their box and India are not being able to penetrate their defense at all. 

83' CHANCE! Almost another one from Maldives, who hit India with another great counter-attack but the final shot goes just widely brazing past the diving Kaith. 

80' What a great corner that was from Hitesh! His curling corner beat every Maldives defender, but Subhashish just can't manage to get his head onto it! Meanwhile, Peter Segrt makes a change with Asadhullah Abdullah coming on for Hassan Naiz. 

76' Ibrahim Hussain goes down after taking an unintentional knock from Bose. He's taking all his time to stay down and just wasting some precious minutes for his side. 

73' Hitesh Sharma comes on for Anirudh Thapa to help India put more men forward.

72' CLOSE! India finally are able to get past Maldives defenders and Sumit Passi finds some room on that right flank before sending in a low cross to Manvir, whose shot is deflected away for a corner. 

68' Stephen Constantine is under a lot of pressure after that goal and makes a few substitutions, with Sumit Passi replacing the ineffective Farukh Choudhary to try and boost India's attack. Germanpreet Singh also comes on for Davinder Singh to help India's defense gain some stability. 

66' GOALL! MALDIVES MAKE IT 0-2! It was another terrific counter-attack from Maldives and they did not miss this time. A stunning through ball down the middle finds the Ali Fasir, who goes past the Indian defenders and cooly finishes past Kaith to give his side a commendable advantage. 

65' Maldives threaten on the counter-attack by the blitzering movement of Hussain, but Thapa does really well to keep up with him and take the ball away from him, forcing a foul from teh goal scorer. 

62' Maldives finally seem to getting out of their shell in this half and create their first real attacking move through Hussain, who skips past a few players before passing it sideways but is disappointed to see the flow of the move being ruined. 

58' Thapa shows signs of frustration by showing too much urgency in creating chances, losing the ball out many times within a short time. He ends up fouling a Maldives player in frustration, showing how Maldives' stubbornness is getting to the Indian players. 

54' India are being frustrated by the stubborn Maldives here. They have packed their box with defenders and despite attempts, The Blue Tigers just can't get a shot on goal. 

50' A weird scene here as Ghanee, who was substituted, is shown the yellow-card after India are awarded a cheap freekick. Thapa's ball in with that corner is poor and glides straight behind. 

47' WHAT A CHANCE! India create a great move through the right, with Poojary setting Davinder free to pick out a beautiful cross to the free Manvir, who should've done better in guiding his header into the goal. Bad miss!

46' The second half kicks off! India are on the attack right from the get-go and send in a ball into the Maldives box, which is held onto by Faisal. 

HALF TIME ANALYSIS: The game hasn't gone according to plan for India at all! Maldives have looked much more bright going forward and a lapse in concentration allowed them to take the lead out of nowhere. India have created a few chances, with Ashique Kuruniyan looking really dangerous on the flanks. But there hasn't been a proper response to come from the Blue Tigers yet and they will have to be much better on the attack in the second half to win the game. Can India complete the come-back in the 2nd half? Stay Tuned to fine out as we'll be back after a few minutes. 

45' India try to threaten through two long throws on the right and after the second is cleared, Sarthak Golui's attempted cross whiskers just past the goal.

42' CLOSE! Maldives receive a freekick on the left-wing and Ali Fasir takes an ambitious shot, which brazes the upper-netting of the goal.  

38' Substitution for Maldives. Big blow for them as captain Akram Ghanee is stretched out and is replaced by Numaan

37' Decent chance for Maldives. Midfielder Hussain Nihaan gets some space in the middle and takes an ambitious shot from almost 30 yards out, but his attempt frays way wide of the target. 

34' India are finally piling on the pressure and create another decent chance. A long-ball into the middle is flicked onto by Manvir to Farukh, whose blazing shot from a difficult position goes flying over the goal. 

32' MANVIR ALMOST! A long throw isn't cleared that well by Maldives, allowing the ball to fall freely to Manvir insid the box and his thunderous shot hits the side-netting!

30' CLOSE! Ashique causes a nightmare for Ali Samooh on that left-flank again, as he dribbles his way past many defenders before sending a great ball into the box which is met by Farukh, who sees his header get blocked and sent out of danger. Amazing work from young Ashique!

27' Vinit Rai is brought down through a cynical foul from the Maldives player after he steals the ball in midfield. Thapa tries to convince the referee to brandish a yellow-card, but the official gives him a stiff warning of not escalating the argument to force a booking. 

25' India seem to be rattled by that goal and are looking to create chances yet again. The Blue Tigers create a peculiar chance when Subhashish's long-throw finds the head of Ashique, who can only see his header glide above the goal. 

22' Maldives break open India's defense again! It was Ali Fasir who went past Bose on the right-flank, but his poor ball was cleared out of danger by Salam Ranjan Singh. 

21' The goal might have come against the run of play, but Maldives were threatening for quite some-time now. This is the first time India have gone behind in the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018. Can they turn it around? 

19' GOALL!! MALDIVES LEAD! After that attack, the Blue Tigers were lazy to come back to defense and allowed Maldives to penetrate their defense. It was Ibrahim Hussain who was sent free on goal by Hassan Naiz's amazing pass and cleverly chipped over Vishal Kaith to give his side the lead! 0-1! 

18' India make a promising attack through the left when Manvir goes past his man, but slips just when he's about to play in the ball. The ball is retained by India and Anirudh Thapa plays a clever back-heel to free Subhashish, whose cross isn't met by anyone in the box. Wasted chance!

15' Despite a lot of intent from Maldives, this game has gotten off to a very cagey start. India aren't attacking with the intent they did against Pakistan and much of the game is being played on the wings itself. 

12' There seems to be a decent amount of Maldives supporters in the stands. They are definitely doing their bit to give a boost for their team, which is performing much positively than they did back in the group stages. The Indian supporters have also come in numbers as they hope to see their team lift the trophy at the end of the game. 

10' Ashique finally comes alive! The left-winger displays his blitzering pace to go past his man on the left, before his cross glides onto Manvir's head but the striker can't aim it onto goal. 

8' Mohamed Samdhooh went down on the pitch after taking a nasty challenge from Poojary. The Maldives defender is receiving treatment and seems to be fit enought to continue. 

6' India are being pressured on their left-flank as Maldives has targetted that wing to create their attacks through. Subhasish Bose has remained solid till now and has his work cut out for him today. 

3' Maldives seem to have started the game with a lot of intent. They are attacking well through the wings and forced some poor fouls from the Blue Tigers. 

1' AND WE KICKOFF! Maldives begin the game attacking from the right to left and are instantly put India on the back-foot. 

6:25 PM The teams are making their way into the Bangabandhu Stadium pitch! There will be the mandatory pre-match routines to take place before we kick off in a few more minutes. Stay tuned for this big match folks!

6:20 PM India will look to win their 8th SAFF Suzuki Cup today. Maldives have only won it once, back in 2008 and have been runners-up three times! Peter Segrt's men will not back down without a fight today and India will have to be at their absolute best in order to secure the win today!

6:15 PM Quite surprising for Stephen Constantine to persist with Sarthak Golui at center-back after he had a poor game against Pakistan the other day. The Blue Tigers will look to create through the wings again and hope the striking duo of Farukh Choudhary and Manvir Singh can secure them the trophy today.  India will have to be wary of Maldives attack this time and with Fasir, Mohamed both starting on the day, Maldives will not sit back the whole game this time. 

6:10 PM TEAM NEWS.

India XI: Kaith, Davinder, Salam Ranjan, Golui, Bose(C), Rai, Thapa, Poojary, Ashique, Choudhary, Manvir. 

Substitutes: K. Singh, Patil, Lalrinzuala, G. Singh, Dhot, Murthy, Sharma, Passi.

Maldives XI: Faisal, Samooh, Yoosuf, Waheed, Samdhooh, Hussain, Nihaan, Ghanee(C), Fasir, Mohamed, Naiz.

Substitutes: Shareef, Thoolal, Numaan, Irufaan, Arif, R. Ghanee, Majuthaaz, Imaaz, Abdullah.

6:05 PM The Blue Tigers meet with Maldives for the 2nd time in the tournament, having defeated them comprehensively in the group stages. Maldives have since rode their luck into progressing into the semi-finals through a coin-toss, before putting out an incredible performance against sorrowful Nepal. They'll look to use that momentum to rock India, who have looked extremely comfortable in all their wins so far. 

Also Read- We respect Maldives but India doesn't fear anybody– Stephen Constantine

6:00 PM Hello everyone! It is an amazing evening here in the capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka and it is a delight to host India's SAFF Cup final against the Maldives. The weather is just perfect and all the spectators are also coming in to experience the two sides plying their trade against each other this evening. Stay tuned, this is your host Uttiyo Sarkar and enjoy the game.

Match Preview- India or Maldives : Who’ll become the South Asian football champions?

Published: Sat Sep 15, 2018 08:52 PM IST

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