In the final round matchday, Bangladesh took on Nepal before, India’s match against the 58th rank Maldives. the top two teams at the end of the day will advance to the finals on Saturday. If any team finishes on the same number of points, they will be separated by head-to-head record. If Nepal loses to Bangladesh or ends up in a draw, it will be enough for India to go through ahead of Nepal on a superior head-to-head record. But India has a slight disadvantage as they are without Farukh Choudhary who assisted Chhetri to win against Nepal.
India dominated the game by 64% possession. In the first half, both the teams could not create a real threat to each other, two Indian players Mandar Rao Dessai and Rahul Bheke were booked early with a yellow card. Finally, at 33rd minute India put their for on the gas and countered the Maldives with a goal by Manvir Singh who smashes it in the top corner but the happiness did not last long, an ill-advised tackle by Pritam Kotal inside the box led to a penalty and Maldives star striker Ali Ashfaq lived up to his standards and equalized the game with 1-1.
India was bombarded with yellow cards in the whole game, we were penalized with 4 yellow cards because of our out of discipline tackles but thanks to our In captain Chhetri who has always been there for India when needed the most, his brace against the Maldives was enough to place India at 1st position on SAFF cup. He got India a lead with Apulia’s cross to Manvir who sets Sunil Chhetri with slight touch and then after a free-kick was swung in, Chhetri was able to head the ball and get pass through the Maldives keeper.
71' GOOAAL! WHAT A HEADER BY SUNIL CHHETRI!
Free-kick is swung in from the right, and Chhetri loops his header over the keeper and into the top corner!
🇮🇳 3-1 🇲🇻
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) October 13, 2021