India to face Maldives in SAFF Championship 2013 semi-final

Wim Koevermans side have their task cut out against the Red Snappers in their bid to defend their crown for the second consecutive time...
The Indian national team are scheduled to play against Maldives in the second semi-final of the SAFF Championship 2013 which will be held on Monday, September 9.

The Group B encounter between Afghanistan and Maldives ended in a 0-0 draw and with seven points each, on Friday, as neither side were able to break the deadlock.

The stalemate saw István Urbányi's outfit finish as group leaders on account of their ferrocious goal difference of +16, a clear warning to Koevermans' men, as compared to Afghanistan (+5).

The Blue Tigers had succumbed to a 1-2 loss to Nepal in the last Group A encounter on Thursday, but were nudged through to the final four of the competition with a little help from Pakistan - who earlier faced defeat to India thanks to an own goal scored by captain Samar Ishaq - who beat Bangladesh 2-1.

The significant drawback for Koevermans' side however, is the suspension of skipper Sunil Chhetri who is suspended due to picking two yellow cards, while Maldives hitman Ali Ashfaq - who has scored 10 goals in the group stage - was rested against Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, in the first semi-final on Sunday, September 8, Jack Stefanowski's side are set to come face-to-face against Mohammed Kargar's unit. Afghanistan were runners-up of the competition in its last edition, as the Gorkhalis continue with their unbeaten run on home soil following their win over the defending champions after seven years.

The final will be held on 11 September. All remaining matches will be played at the Dashrath Rangasala in Kathmandu, Nepal, with a kick-off time 6.15 pm IST.

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