Rana scores hat-trick as India thump Maldives
Lalitpur, August 19
India thrashed Maldives 9-0 in their Group B match of the SAFF U-15 Championship here at the ANFA Complex grounds today.
Ravi Bahadur Rana completed a hat-trick for India, while Moirangthem Thoiba Singh, Ricky John Shabong, Vikram Pratap Singh and Lalrokima scored a goal each. Mohamed Faihaan Imran of Maldives scored two own goals.
India scored four goals in first half and added five more after the interval. Rana opened the scoring in the 21st minute utilising a cross from Bekey Oram before they doubled the tally a minute later when Imran netted an own goal.
Rana found the back of the nets in the 26th minute from inside the box to make it 3-0 before Moirangthem Thoiba Singh added fourth goal of the team in the 41st minute following a corner from Bekey Oram. Rana completed his hat-trick in the 48th minute on a rebound after Givson Singh Moirangthem’s first attempt was punched by Maldives goalie Mohamed Raif Abdulla.
Ricky John Shabong made it 6-0 in the 57th minute and Vikram Pratap Singh found the back of the nets in the 71st minute. Similarly, Lalrokima’s shot from edge of the penalty box kissed the nets in the 80th minute before Imran scored second own goal in the 87th minute while trying to clear the ball from danger zone.
Despite producing the thumping victory, India coach Bibiano Fernandes said his side needed to improve the game. “The results show that our team is a superior one but we have to improve our game as there were some problems in the team,” said Fernandes. Maldives coach Mohamed Shaazly lauded his players’ efforts for fighting till the last moment. “We fought till the last minute despite failing to put up a good show,” said Shaazly.
India will now face hosts Nepal on August 23 in the last match of the group. On Sunday, Bhutan will play against Sri Lanka in Group A match.