India secured a resounding 8-0 victory over Maldives during the semi-final Football match of the SAFF U16 Championship, held at the Changlimithang Stadium in Thimphu, Bhutan on Friday. The Blue Colts exhibited complete dominance throughout the game, earning a ticket to the final.
Noteworthy performances came from Mohammad Arbash and Aiborlang Kharthangmaw, who both scored two goals each. Additionally, Vishal Yadav, Mohammed Kaif, Levis Zangminlun, and Manbhakupar Malngiang each contributed with a goal. India took a 2-0 lead by halftime and added six more goals in the second half. India took control of the match right from the beginning thanks to the contributions of Bharat and Levis, whose shots missed the target but set the tone for the game.
Interestingly, there was a change in strategy compared to the previous match. The right winger, Vishal Yadav, adopted a more central role, often pulling the Maldives fullback Ahmed Mikyal Muyeen in with him, while Levis moved wide to exploit the open space on the wing.
In the 21st minute, India finally achieved the breakthrough they had been striving for. Karish Soram executed a brilliant aerial pass, and Yadav’s well-timed diagonal run into the box created confusion in the Maldives defense. Positioned between two defenders, Yadav skillfully received the pass and confidently scored.
India extended their lead in the 36th minute when Kaif nodded in a corner delivered by Mate Ngamgouhou. As the first half came to a close, the Blue Colts entered the dressing room with a comfortable advantage.
In the final moments of the match, Mohammad Arbash scored two goals, while Aiborlang secured his second goal during the game, leading India to an impressive 8-0 victory. India is now eagerly anticipating the outcome of the second semifinal, where either Pakistan or Bangladesh will emerge as their opponents in the final. The final match is scheduled to commence at 5:30 PM IST on Sunday.