Recently retired national team goalkeeper, Imran Mohamed (Imma) said the Maldives team, comprised of extremely talented players, can defeat the Palestine team in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying match.
Speaking to VNews, Imran said while the Palestine team was a strong one, the Maldivian team has extremely talented and skilled players. The Maldives, Palestine match to be held in Male’ will hopefully be won by the Maldivian team, he said.
“The Maldivian team has skilled players who can help win this match. Even though the team no longer has Ashfaq or Imran, they will no doubt show a great performance. Giving an opportunity to new players is important”, Imran said.
Imran had retired after the Asian Cup Qualifying play-off match against Laos in the 2nd leg.
New Radiant Sports Club’s current captain, Imran said although he had retired from the national team, he would be a loyal supporter and helper of the team. He further said that he fully trusted the keepers presently in the team.
“There are many skillful keepers, who should be given the opportunity to play. I will definitely go to support our team in the match against Palestine. My hope is that all Maldivians will take this opportunity to show their national spirit and go to the stadium to support the team”, Imran said.
Imran said he doesn’t have any plans to join the national team again, saying he is resolute in his decision.
The best goalkeeper of Maldives, Imran, had played a total of 111 matches for the national team. Imran showed an excellent performance in the SAFF Championship, ultimately winning the tournament in 2008. Likewise, he had a huge role in drawing the match against the great South Korean’s in 2004, by brilliant saves throughout the match. Imran helped the Maldives win bronze in the AFC Challenge Cup in 2014, showing a great performance in that tournament as well.
Imran had, without fail, worn the Maldives jersey and made the country proud since 1999.
Football Association of Maldives (FAM) said the team will begin training for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying match on March 21. Prior to that, they are attempting to arrange a friendly match the Sri Lankan team, FAM said.
The Maldives, Palestine match in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifying will be held at 9:00 p.m. in the national stadium on March 28. Palestine is currently 134th in World Ranking while Maldives is in the 140th position.
Maldives last faced Palestine in 2014, at the group stage in AFC Challenge Cup. The matched ended without a goal from either team.