SAFF Championship 2011: India defeats Sri Lanka to reach Semis

India 3-0 Sri Lanka
India: Jeje Lalpekhlua(50'), Sunil Chhetri(69'), Own Goal by Bandara Warakagoda(90')


India came out with a good solid performance against neighbors Sri Lanka in the final group stage match where they needed either a draw or a win after Afghanistan made easy work of Bhutan thrashing them 8-1. India went for the match attack minded with almost the same team which was fielded in the 5-0 win against Bhutan. The first half resulted in no goals thanks to some good goalkeeping from the Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Pereira. The best moment of the half was Jeje's shot on the volley chesting and hitting a fierce dipping shot while turning full 180 degrees with the goal on the other side, the ball unfortunately hitting the cross bar and going out.
Sunil Chhetri, 3 matches 4 goals, just fantastic

India came back determined to brake the jinx in the second half. In form forward Sunil Chhetri took a good shot at the Sri Lankan goal, the ball was parried away by Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Pereira but fell straight to Jeje Lalpekhlua who didn't took a second to finish the chance and taking India to the driver seat.
Clifford Miranda, another
 good game for the winger

Sujan Pereira,
(Goalkeeper, Sri Lanka)
made some good saves
 to restrict the score to 0-3
Sri Lankan goalkeeper was stopping everything that came to him and denying India the chances of opening the floodgates. One such moment came in the 62nd minute when Jeje found himself one on one with Sujan Periera alone but Jeje took some time to take a shot which was deflected to Chhetri and he missed the golden opportunity hitting it over the bar. Three minutes later Sujan somehow managed to stop a blistering shot from Sunil Chhetri from few yards outside the box. Sunil Chhetri finally registered himself in the scoresheet after he finished with a superb header of a cross from lively Dempo Winger Clifford Miranda with the goalkeeper helplessly glued to the goal line. India finally made the scoreline 3-0 thanks to an own goal by Sri Lankan Bandara when he tried to clear the ball but instead found his very own net.

India thus qualify for the semi finals as second placed team and are slated to play Maldives while the other Semi final will feature Nepal taking on Afghanistan.

                                                                       In another match:

Afghanistan 8-1 Bhutan
Afghanistan: Mohammad Yamrali(4'), Haroon Fakhruddin(10'), Balal Arezo(15',19',45',85'), Dejaluldin Sharityar(P 48'),Yousef Mashriqi(61')
Bhutan: Chencho Gyeltshen(23')

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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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