Sports Desk: India beat arch-rivals Pakistan 3-1 while Maldives breezed past Nepal 3-0 in the two semifinals to set up a final clash in the SAFF Suzuki Cup at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Wednesday.
Seven-time champions India took a 3-0 lead against Pakistan, thanks to a brace from Manvir Singh and a late strike from Sumit Passi. However, veteran forward Hasan Basheer reduced the arrears during a frenetic finish, but India eventually came out with a comfortable win. Both teams had a man sent off as tempers flared towards the end of this lively encounter.
Meanwhile 2008 champions Maldives, who had qualified for the semifinals courtesy of a coin toss after collecting a single point from too matches, scored in either half of a rain-affected encounter against Nepal earlier in the day.
Akram Abdul Ghanee gave the Islanders the lead in the ninth minute with a superb free-kick before play was stopped for more than half an hour due to thunderstorm.
Ibrahim Waheed Hasan scored twice in the last ten minutes to ensure a comfortable victory for the Islanders, who had lost in semifinals on last three occasions.
risingbd/Dhaka/September 12, 2018/ A K Azad