SAFF Championship 2013: Arnab Mondol strike enough to book a place in final for India

india vs maldives 15India booked a place in the final of the SAFF Championship 2013 despite not playing to their best so far. Yet in the semifinals they were not the best team and got the goal that sealed their place in the finals. Arnab Mondol scored the only goal of the match late in the match in the 86th minute of the match.

India were playing without their skipper Sunil chettri as he was suspended for the match. Ali Ashfaq also returned for Maldives who was rested in their final group match. But he was well handled by Indian defense despite creating troubles for them at times. On the other hand, India couldn't attack regularly to sealed the match which was eventually sealed in the final few minutes of the match.

India will now take on Afghanistan in the final which is a repeat of the previous final and won by India in the year 2011.

Maldives coach Urbyani lamented that his side was harshly treated by the match referee as his side was denied two clear penalties. He also mentioned that his best player Ali Ashfaq was unfairrly treated by referees as he was twice booked in the tournament for diving. But he mentioned that he was quite happy with his player's performance.

On the other hand, Indian coach Koevermans was proud of his boys performance. He further stressed that his team is just 90 minutes away from defending their title.

SAFF Championship 2013: Host Nepal vows out of semifinal despite heroics performance against Afghanistan

nepali football 7Host Nepal crashed out of the semifinal stage of the SAFF Championship 2013 after going down 1-0 against Afghanistan. Nepal had met the same opponent 2 years earlier at the same stage and the final result was also similar. Nepal had vowed to take avenge of their defeat but despite being the better team they lost the match.

Afghanistan took the lead in the 10th minute of the match as Sanjar Ahmed pounced on the ball which Nepali goalie Kiran Chemjong spilled off his goal much to the agony of the home supporters present in vast number. But Nepal had their own chance of equalizer in the 88th minute of the match as they were awatded penalty for a foul on Bimal Gharti Magar by Afghan custodian Mansur. Rohit Chand stepped in to take the spotkick but his spotkick was saved by Mansur. But to the delight of home supporters the referee reordered to taitke the kick. Rohit again disappointed as he failed to score again. Nepal pressurized again in the additional minute of stoppage time but a brilliant attempt was well parried off by Mansur.

Football is cruel sometimes as the result doesn't go in favor of the best team. Despite losing the semi-final Nepal played well brilliantly in every match. But every player and supporter should realize there is more to life than football. As there is a saying there is always a next time. Nepali football team should learn from their petty mistakes that cost their match in order to achieve the lost glory that was among SAFF nations.

SAFF Championship 2013: ANFA increases ticket price for knockout round

saffchampionshipANFA increased the ticket price of the ongoing SAFF Championship 2013 semifinal and final matches. The price for the group matches were Rs 300 and Rs 700 respectively. The newly revised price are Rs 500 and Rs 1000 respectively. The increment in price will not please most of the Nepali football fans but being ardent fans there will be no decrement in fans that will be present there at the stadium.

There were unconfirmed report that Rs 300 tickets were sold at a prive above Rs1000 and Rs 700 tickets were sold for more than Rs 2000 in the final group game between Nepal and India. The demand of the match will allow ANFA to hike the price whatever they want it to be. Nevertheless Nepali football fans will be content if the hiked money will be utilized properly.

SAFF Championship 2013: Maldives and Afghanistan play a stalemate, Srilanka goes out of tournament with head held high after beating Bhutan

afghanistan vs maldives 12Already qualified Afghanistan and Maldives played a stalemate in the final group game as Maldives topped the Group B to make a clash with India in the semifinals. Maldives rested some of their players including Ali Asfaq as a result Afghanistan created few but better chances than Maldives. But at the end of the match both the teams settled for the draw as there was very few to play for. Afghanistan will play with host Nepal in the semifinals.

In another meaningless tie, Srilanka outplayed Bhutan 5-2 in their final clash of the tournament. Both the teams were out of tournament and were playing for pride only. Mohammad Izzadeen scored a hattrick in the 19th, 30th and 50th minute of the match before finally adding his fourth and team's fifth in 93rd minute of the match. The other goal was a sucide by Bhutanese players. Skipper Passang and Sonam tenzing scored for Bhutan in the 45th and 58th minute of the match.