Nehru Cup: Maldives impress against NepalAugust 23rd, 2012 - 11:24 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The Maldives continued their dominance over Nepal and gave a good account of themselves with a 2-1 win over their South Asian rivals in the second match of the Nehru Cup football here Thursday.
Thanks to goals from Abdulla Asadhulla and Ismail Easa, the Maldives recorded their seventh win over Nepal in 14 unbeaten games with four of the matches being draws.
There were many pluses for the Maldives. Coach Istvan Urbanyi would be especially happy with his midfield’s link-up play and star striker Ali Ashfaq making a nuisance.
Both scorers for the Maldives were making their debut and put in a strong display.
Urbanyi will also be content with his defence’s display. They looked solid at the back, repelling every attack that came their way.
Besides a sole blemish from Abdul Ghani in the 47th minute, the Maldives defence stood strong for most part of the game.
Nepal though will have to go back to the drawing board. They had very few creative ideas in midfield and relied mostly on hopeful long balls.
The only silver lining for them was Jumanu Rai’s goal in added time.
The Maldives started the match brighter of the two. They did all the attacking in the first half, and put Nepalese defence under tremendous pressure.
The pressure finally paid off when Biraj Maharjan fouled Waheed Rilwan on the edge of the box. From the ensuing free-kick from Ali, goalkeeper Thapa punched the ball which went straight to Abdulla, who made no mistake.
Nepal should have had their goalkeeper Riteesh Thapa sent off for a clumsy tackle, just outside the box, on Ali in the eighth minute. But the referee took a more lenient approach showing him only a yellow.
Umair Mohamed’s ensuing curling free kick was parried away by the goalie in the ninth minute, giving the Maldives yet another corner.
Umair in midfield was very creative with good ideas. His lob pass gave the Nepalese defenders ample problems.
Nepal looked all at sea in the first half only relying on counter-attacks.
The Maldives’ captain, Ali was a constant thorn for the opposition, especially with his darting runs.
Umair, Ali Ashadh and Abdulla linked up beautifully with one another, displaying great one-touch play in the middle.
Nepal hardly had any clear cut chances and looked clueless in the final third, managing only a few long balls in the box.
The Maldives dominated the first half with seven shots on target to Nepal’s two.
Nepal started the second half strongly, buoyed by the crowd support.
Bijay Gurung had a gilt-edge chance to level the score in the 48th minute but inexplicably shot wide from six yards out.
Abdulla had to be carried off the ground and was replaced by Rasheed Mohamed.
The Maldives seemed to switch off in the second half. Deciding to defend deep they came under heavy pressure from Nepal, who failed to take their chances.
The final nail in the coffin for Nepal came in the 78th minute when Ahmed Rasheed squared the ball for Ismail, who just had to tap it in from close range.
Nepal finished the game with a positive note when Santosh Sahukhala threaded a through ball for Jumanu between two defenders, who side-footed it into the back of the net.
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Tags: abdulla, added time, asian rivals, blemish, creative ideas, drawing board, easa, eighth minute, free kick, ghani, goalkeeper, ismail, istvan, midfield, nehru cup football, nuisance, pluses, star striker, thapa, umair