India kept alive their hopes of defending the SAFF Cup football title after qualifying for the semi-finals with a clinical 3-0 win over Sri Lanka in their last Group A match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here Wednesday.
India, riding high after drubbing Bhutan 5-0, had to wait till the 50th minute to take the lead through Jeje Lalapekhlua, who shot off a rebound after his striking partner Sunil Chhetri's attempt was parried away by Lanka goalkeeper Sujan Perera.
Chhetri added to the score-sheet with a stunning header off Clifford Miranda's cross in the 69th minute. Sri Lankan defender Bandara Warakagoda committed a blunder in the dying minutes -- in his bid to clear the ball he slotted it in to his own goal.
India finished second in the group and will face 2008 champions Maldives in Friday's semi-final, while Nepal will take on Afghanistan in the other semi-final.