Maldives secure semi-final place with win over Bhutan

Goals continued to flow for the Maldives yesterday, putting 8 past Bhutan in their second group match in this year’s South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship.

Captain and all-time tournament leading scorer Ali Ashfaq scored another four goals after a double hat-trick against Sri Lanka on Monday (September 2). The 10-0 victory was also a record high scoring match in the SAFF championship.

Bhutan were able to reply with two goals, even leading the game at one point before the Maldives resumed their impressive goal-scoring form. In a repeat of Monday’s game, the opposition were reduced to ten men when goalkeeper In addition to Ashfaq’s four, Ali Fasir scored two and Mohamed Umair and Ali Umar bagged one each.

The Maldives now leads Group B, ahead of top ranked side Afghanistan, who have also won both of their group matches. The two side face off tomorrow (September 6), although both are now assured of a place in the semi-finals, scheduled for the start of next week.