India has defeated the Maldives 3-1 in the semifinals of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) championship, securing its place at the finals of the ongoing Championship Tournament.
The Maldives equalised an early goal from the India side, with Shamweel Qasim scoring in the 60th minute.
However India regained the lead after the Maldives brought down India’s Sunil Chhetri in the penalty area, losing the penalty and allowing India to pull ahead in the 70th minute.
Chhetri scored India’s third goal during injury time, cementing a victory for India that will see it playing Afghanistan in the final, following the latter’s 1-0 victory over Nepal.
Maldives’ coach Istvan Urbanyi said India was “lucky to have won the match.”
“The Indian coach said that the team which made less mistakes will win the tournament. But I said luck is very important. It was 1-1 deadlock and then India got the penalty and we had enough chances to restore parity again but we could not. So it was bad luck for us,” Urbanyi said, following India’s win.
“I had said the team which has extra quality players will win the tournament and my side has more quality players. But bad luck for us.”