By a Staff Reporter
India National U20 football team beats Maldives U20 to book its spot in the finals of SAFF U20 Championship. Gurkirat Singh scored in a dying hour at Kalinga Stadium to send hosts through to the finals.
India dominated Maldives throughout the match but failed to score time and again. India created numerous goal scoring chances but the host failed to utilize any.
However, Singh found the net in the 90th minute. Maldivian defenders failed to clear the ball in the box and Singh capitalized it. He smashed the ball in the top corner and gave the goalkeeper no chance to save.
Parthiv Sundar Gongoi was sent off during the injury time. Nepali referee Prajwal Chhetri booked him with a yellow card after delaying the throw-in. Chhettri immediately booked Gongoi with a red card after India took the throw-in as he used abusive words against the referee. One among India’s top scorers, Gognoi will now miss the final match.
Bangladesh topped the group and booked its spot to the finale with 10 points from 4 matches remaining undefeated. Following the win against Maldives, India climbed to second with 9 points from 4 matches. Nepal stands third with 7 points. Maldives and Sri Lanka concluded it’s SAFF U20 campaign bagging 2 and 1 point respectively.
Hosts India and Bangladesh will now vie for the title on August 5. Both the teams faced each other in the finals of previous edition as well at Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu where India clinched the title for the first time.