SAFF U-18 Championship: India face Sri Lanka, eye semis spot
India were held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh in their opening match of the tournament on Monday. They take on Sri Lanka in their last group league match and need just a draw to qualify for the semifinals
Kathmandu: India will fancy their chances of sealing a semifinal spot when they take on a struggling Sri Lanka in the SAFF U-18 Championship here on Wednesday. India were held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh in their opening match of the tournament on Monday. They take on Sri Lanka in their last group league match and need just a draw to qualify for the semifinals.
Bangladesh sit pretty with a 3-0 victory over Sri Lanka and a 0-0 draw against India. Head Coach Floyd Pinto, who is confident the side will put up an improved performance aginst Sri Lanka, emphasised on creating goal scoring chances. "I am sure the boys will improve against Sri Lanka. They are capable of playing much better football. We need to create chances and get the goals. The goals are crucial in our quest to qualify for the semis. We aim to score as many as possible, and proceed to the semis as group winners," Pinto said. The good news is that goalkepeer Prabshukhan Singh Gill, who had to be stretchered early in the first-half against Bangladesh due to a nasty head injury, is stable.
"All the reports are normal. But as it's a head injury, we need to keep him under our observation for the next 48 hours. We look forward to him playing a part in the later stages of the Championship," the coach said. Pinto, who saw Sri Lanka's 0-3 defeat at the hands of Bangladesh, said that the island-nation would provide a good competition to India. "They created chances. They have some good dribblers, and nippy players. We cannot ever take them lightly. At the same time if we can keep better possession of the ball, and construct attacks the manner we have been planning to, we can nullify them."
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