SAFF Cup: Classy India brush aside Maldives 3-1 to reach final


Dominant India brushed aside Maldives 3-1 in the 1st semi-final of SAFF Championship 2011 to reach the final in style. The scoreline could have reflected a tennis game but for the sitters that were missed.

Indi went on the offensive mode right from the beginning knowing well that early goal-scorer will have added advantage in the pressure-match. Right in the 2nd minute of play Climax Lawrence, who is back to his marvellous self, took a powerful shot which was saved by a diving Imran Mohammed. The return ball was begging to be sent into the open goal but Jeje Lalpekhlua once again dissapointed in the tournament that he would like to not remember.


Sunil Chhetri
Sunil Chhetri in action against Maldives

India carried on the series of bombardments on the Maldivian defence which resulted in at least 2 clear opportunities of goals. The first one was in the 13th minute when Jeje’s header off a cross was saved by the goalkeeper. The second one was in 22nd minute when Sunil Chhetri recieved the ball inside the box but took the shot a bit early.

But we only had to wait for 2 minutes when Clifford Miranda took the free kick from almost the center of the feild. The ball fell at an advantage position and only a flick would have done it, but Jeje missed it. Luckily for India Nabi came in with his right foot and slotted the ball into the goal. India were 1-0 up.

India continued to make moves and inroads in the first half via Climax, Sunil, Jeje and Clifford Miranda. Rocus Lamare and Gawli on the other hand kept foiling Maldives’ moves. Rocus doubled up as ball provider for the attack line.

In the second half, Maldies started to show some sense of urgency. Coach Istvan Urbanyi played his card and brought in Mohammed Jameel in place of Ismail Mohammed. Maldives started to look better in attack and raided the Indian defence in quick successions. Ahmed Thariq found the ball in front of the goal but the header was not the most dangerous one.

India kept the momentum going and they attacked from both the flanks using Nabi and Clifford Miranda. Climax Lawrence helped switch flanks quickly by his accurate long passes.

Akram Abdhul Ghani was the man of the match for Maldives today. With his excellent playmaker abilities finally he found Maldives’ equalizer when he set the ball up for Maldives No. 9 Shamweel Qasim who took a bullet-speed shot to net the goal.

Jewel Raja was brought in to replace tired Climax who had an excellent game today. Getting the equalizer Maldives players went over-enthusiastic and 2 of its players earned yellow card in quick successions.

Chhetri earned a penalty in the 70th minute and brought back the lead after converting it in a cool fashion. India were 2-1 up. Thereafter it was India all over the place. The pace of the game and dominance was a delight to see. You could see all different kind of approaches to the goal. India could have added 2 more goals. But Steven Dias missed a hell-of-a-sitter after Sunil did a marvellous job to set the ball up for him. Again, in the counter-attack, a jittery Jewel Raja obstructed the ball that was to find Sunil who was all alone.

Sunil rounded up the match by a super-cool finishing. The through ball by Jeje was tapped by him, he looked up to the approaching goalkeeper and calmly tapped it to his right into the goal. Frustration showed up in Maldives when Ahmed Thariq earned red-card in the dying moments.

India will play the winner of Afghanistan vs Nepal match later today in the final on 11th of December.


  1. Afghanistan can achieve their first SAFF championship trophey this time with their outstanding players and their high class football performance. It will certainly be a big Blow-off on India who is claiming to be the best in the region. But the fact is, India is not doing much and its not developing or progressing any better in football, despite the huge sponsorships, by giant sports companies, and unlimited supports and assistance from the football associations and organisers from all around the world. Football has no future in India and India has no future for Football. admit it indies!

    • first half just ended and India is playing shit! over 90% of the game controlled and dominated by Afghans, teaching Indians how to play some classy football and Indians crawl for the ball after Afghani players! Shame on Indians who claim to be the best team in the region.

  2. excuse me bro,,dis touney involves INDIA…ha ha ha,,afghans winning..niz joke..they wiil do weell enuf to reach d final itself

  3. For you kind information, it was not Asad Abdul Ghani who assisted to Shamweel Qasim to score yet the most beautiful goal of SAFF Championship 2011. It was Akram Abdul Ghani who made the magic and passed the ball. Do some responsible journalism.   

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