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09th-Sep-2018

India take on Maldives today

By BSS, Dhaka

Defending champions India U-23 national team is set to face the Maldives in their second and final group A match of the SAFF Suzuki Cup scheduled to be held today (Sunday) at the Bangabandhu National Stadium here.
The match kicks off at 7 pm.
The blue Tigers began their tournament campaign with a 2-0 win over Sri Lanka and looking to carry their momentum against the Maldives. India, which already confirmed their last four stages, missing big names in the squad such as Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and younger Indian side - being led by Subhashish Bose - are being given an opportunity to prove their mettle. The holders, who has only one player above the age of 23 (Sumeet Passi) showed great temperament against Sri Lanka in the first match but there is still a lot to work on.
In the India's opening match, there were many chances created, with Ashique Kuruniyan and Lallianzuala Chhangte, the two wingers, finding the net for India. The number could have easily been greater than two goals had it not been for the exploits of Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Perera, who foiled some incredible attempts.
The 21-year-old Ashique was also named the most valuable player in the previous match. The two wingers were undoubtedly the standout players for the holders.
Nevertheless India will go to the field tomorrow with an upper hand following their outstanding winning record against The Maldives.
Out of the 18 times the two sides have met before, India have won 13, 2 games were drawn and 3 were won by Maldives.
In their latest encounter was in the SAFF Championship 2015 India emerged on top. Sunil Chhetri scored a goal and Jeje netted a brace in the 3-2 win for India.
Whether or not the young Indian side will be able to continue their dominance over the Maldives, only time will say. On the other hand, It will be a must win match for the Maldives to stay in the championship race following their goalless draw with Sri Lanka in their opening match.