SAFF Championship 2018, India vs Maldives: Preview, When and Where to Watch on TV, Date, Start Time
The defending champions, India, began their campaign at the 2018 SAFF Championship with a 2-0 win over Sri Lanka in their inaugural match.
The Indian squad is missing big names such as Sunil Chhetri, Jeje Lalpekhlua, and the younger players of the national team -- being led by Subhashish Bose -- are being given an opportunity to prove their mettle.
The Blue Tigers -- placed in Group B -- will be looking to carry the momentum of the first game as they are set to face Maldives in their next encounter.
The young Indian squad -- which has only one player above the age of 23 (Sumeet Passi) -- showed great temperament in the first match but there is still a lot to work on. There were many chances created, with Ashique Kuruniyan and Lallianzuala Chhangte, the two wingers, finding the net for India. The number could have easily been greater than 2 had it not been for the exploits of Sri Lankan goalkeeper Sujan Perera, who pulled off some incredible saves; and poor finishing by the Indians.
The Blue Tigers were not clinical in the final third and the finishing was a huge disappointment and it is something coach Stephen Constantine will try and look into as it can cost them in the future games. Even a couple of easy one on one chances were scuffed and despite the win, the finishing abilities of the Blue Tigers were brought to the fore, and they are not something they can be too proud of.
21-year-old Ashique was also named the Most Valuable Player in the previous match. The two wingers were undoubtedly the standout players for India.
Indian coach Stephen Constantine remarked after the match:
"We have to learn how to play more smartly. We can do much better than this. Given the fact that the players are young, you can't expect the consistency every time. Anyway, a win is always the most important aspect of the game and we move on from here.”
Meanwhile, in Group A, the hosts Bangladesh have been in terrific form, winning both their matches to secure 6 points. Nepal and Pakistan have won a match each out of their two games played, with Bhutan losing both their encounters.
The Indian national football team boasts of a good record against the side they are about to face next, Maldives.
Out of the 18 times the two sides have met before, India have won 13, 2 games were drawn and 3 were won by Maldives.
Their latest encounter was in the SAFF Championship 2015 itself where the Blue Tigers emerged on top. Sunil Chhetri scored a goal and Jeje netted a brace in the 3-2 win for India back then. Whether or not the new look team will be able to continue the dominance against Maldives, only time will tell.
Here is all you need to know about the upcoming match between India and Maldives:
Date: September 9, 2018
Event: India vs Maldives, Group Stage match, SAFF Championship
Time: 6:30 PM, Indian Standard Time
Venue: Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Broadcast: D Sports
Live Stream: www.dsports.in (unconfirmed)
You can also Catch ALL the LIVE updates of the match on Sportskeeda!
Will India win their 2nd game on the trot at the SAFF Championship? Will the finishing be better by the Blue Tigers against Maldives? Do share your opinions in the comments section below.