A coin toss has advanced the Maldives national football team to the semi-finals in the SAFF Championship 2018 without winning a single match.
The Maldivian team had shown poor performance at the group stage, having had to leave it for the first time in history.
On Sunday evening, India’s under-23 team beat Maldives 2-0. Since Maldives and Sri Lanka were tied in Group B in terms of points and goal difference, a coin toss was taken in the presence of both team captains and managers.
Maldives team faced India without some of their key players including Ali Faasir, Hamza Mohamed, and Naiz Hussain. They were replaced by Asadulla Abdulla, Ibrahim Mahdy, and Ahmed Imaz in the starting 11.
Speaking about the match, football coach Mohamed Nazeeh said that although the national team’s coach acts as if he knows Maldivian football, he made a great mistake by starting the match without key players. Maldivian team has been playing each match worse than the previous, and this shows the coach has no solid plan, Nazeeh said.
Nazeeh said that while he is happy that the team moved to the semi-finals by winning the coin toss, it is an embarrassing day in Maldivian football history.
Although Maldives has moved to the semi-finals, they have not won a match or scored a single goal in the tournament. Maldivian team scored seven goals in the group stage in 2015 and scored 18 goals in 2013.
Maldives will face Nepal in the semi-finals, while India will compete against Pakistan.