KATHMANDU: Nepal suffered a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Maldives in the semi-finals of SAFF Championship played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka today.
Maldives striker Ibrahim Waheed scored a brace in space of two minutes in the last ten minutes of the game. He scored a thunderbolt from the edge of the area after Nepali defenders failed to clear the line and struck another goal a simple tap in.
With today's win, Maldives have booked their place in the final of the championship for the fifth time.
Maldives skipper Akram A Ghanee broke a deadlock in the 9th minute as he curled a free-kick beyond the reach of diving Kiran Limbu and nestled into the far post before thunderstorm interrupted the game for half an hour.
Nepal's goalie Kiran Limbu outstretched leg prevented the ball from nestling into the right corner of the net after Hasan Naiz outfoxed Suman Aryal in half-hour mark.
Kharat Khawas missed a sitter in the 39th minute as he side-footed the ball wide of an open net after Bimal Gharti Magar fierce shot was parried on the path of onrushing Khawas.
Striker Nawayug Shrestha replaced Niranjan Khadka in the hour mark to add impetus in the attacking play in search of an elusive equaliser.
Maldives rearguard defended with authority as they thwarted Nepali moves at ease. Nepal's Nawayug Shrestha should have equalised in the 75th minute after he failed to connect Sugal Shrestha's cross from the left flank of the pitch.
Bimal Gharti Magar let fly a left-footed pile drive from 35-yard out as his goal-bound shot was spectacularly saved by diving Mohamed Faisal in the dying minutes of the game.
In other semi-finals, India will take on arch-rival Pakistan later today. Nepali team will return home tomorrow.
The next edition of the SAFF Championship would be held in Pakistan.