India win and raise Bangladesh’s chance of reaching final
Seven-time champions India beat Nepal 1-0 tonight to keep their and as well as Bangladesh's hopes alive of reaching the final of the 13th SAFF Championship.
Sunil Chhetri struck the all-important goal in the 83rd minute to raise India's point tally to five from three matches, one less than Nepal and Maldives. Bangladesh have four points from three matches.
The finalists of the tournament will be decided at the final Matchday of the group stage on Wednesday.
With the top two spots still open for all four teams, Bangladesh need an outright victory against Nepal to confirm their spot in the final. Nepal on the other hand, only need a draw to ensure their maiden final berth at the regional football extravaganza.
Like Bangladesh, India also need an outright win over hosts Maldives to reach a staggering 12th final out of 13 editions of the tournament while Maldives also need only a point to confirm their sixth appearance in the final of SAFF Championship's history.
In the day's first match, Maldives made their task of progressing to the final easy after handing a single-goal defeat to Sri Lanka, with Ali Ashfaq striking the decisive goal in the sixth minute to give the defending champions a shot at a back-to-back place in the final.