10-man Nepal thrash Maldives, enter semis of SAFF U-15 Championship

KATHMANDU: The 10-man Nepal thrashed Maldives 6-0 in Group B match and advanced to the semi-finals of the SAFF U-15 Championship here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.

Brijesh Chaudhary scored a brace, while Darshan Gurung, Roshan Rana Magar, Akash Budha Magar and Roshan Dong scored a goal each for Nepal, who made it to the last four with a match in hand.

The result meant India, who had defeated Maldives 9-0 in their opening match, also advanced to the semi-finals from the group of three-team.

Chaudhary opened the scoring in the 14th minute as he headed home from inside the box utilitising a cross from Darshan Gurung, who doubled the advantage in the 21st minute as his shot from the inside the penalty area kissed the back of the despite Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed RAif Abdulla tried hard to punch the ball.

Skipper Roshan Rana Magar made it 3-0 in the 37th minute through spot kick. Nepal earned the penalty after Maldives defender Mohamed Faihaan Imran handled the ball inside penalty area.

Akash Budha Magar, who replaced Ranjan Pun in the 32nd minute, tapped in to score forth goal of the team in the 45th minute capitalising on poor defense from Maldivian players.

Nepal, who scored four goals in the first half, added two more after the interval as Roshan Dong scored in the 47th minute.

Chaudhary scored personal second and team’s sixth goal in the 73rd minute after his powerful shot from the edge of the danger zone found back of the net.

However, Nepal were reduced to 10-man in the 88th minute after Roshan Dong red carded for fouling on Maldives skipper Ibrahim Imran.

Nepal head coach Sunil Kumar Shrestha said his side adopted attacking approach to win the match by big margin.

“The same approach put pressure on our players as a result we had some lapses in defense line. We will try to improve defense and finishing in upcoming matches,” said Shrestha, who added that match against India would be competitive one.

Maldives coach Mohamed Shaazly said his side was in tough group and playing against India in the opener put them into pressure against Nepal as well.

“Today’s match showed that Maldives and Nepal were of same level but the defeat against India created pressure on us. We could have played better had we met Nepal in first match.

However, our players created goal scoring chances against Nepal,” said Shaazly, who added that he was happy that his team had couple of talented players.