Maldives dominated most of the possession throughout the game but their failure to breach the defence left the three-team group wide open with only one match left. Sunday
Pre-tournament favourite Maldives made a shocking start in the ongoing Saff Championship 2018 as Sri Lanka held them to a goalless draw in their Group B encounter at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Friday.
Maldives dominated most of the possession throughout the game but their failure to breach the defence left the three-team group wide open with only one match left. Sunday, Maldives will play the last match group against India, who beat Sri Lanka in the first match 2-0, and another slip up could eliminate the contender from the tournament.
With Afghanistan pulling out from the south Asian region and India sending only an U-23 side, Maldives were regarded as the strongest side before the tournament. But Friday, despite numerous attempts, the Island nation failed to break the dead-lock.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka, who beat Bangladesh in a pre-tournament practise match recently, showed their resilience to keep their hope alive. With this result India confirmed their semi-final berth and they will become group champion if they can avoid defeat against Maldives Sunday.
Maldives Stats Sri Lanka
13 Shots 14
5 Shots on target 5
62 Possession % 38
424 Passes 259
71 Pass accuracy % 58
6 Fouls 19
0 Yellow cards 2
6 Offsides 3
8 Corners 4