By Susil Premalal reporting from Bangladesh
Maldives and Sri Lanka shared the honours in a goalless draw in their Group ‘B’ match of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup Tournament fixture played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium On Friday (7).
The first half saw a one-way traffic as the Maldives attackers knit a web around the Sri Lankan box but being frustrated with the dogged approach of the Sri Lankan defence led by goal-keeper Sujan Perera.
In fact, Perera was a busy man from the very outset when he denied Ibrahim Hasan whose venomous header on a Hasan Naiz corner was heading towards the net in the third minute.
In addition, Ali Fasir was cursing the lady luck in the 16th minute when his low free-kick beat Perera in the near post but rebounded from the side-post.
Sri Lanka after absorbing the pressure came out of their shell and were frustrated to see forward Asela Madhusan’s solo effort strike ruled out for an off-side.
The story continued in the second half but Maldives was ruing the opportunity in the 56th minute with Ali Fasir sending a swinging cut back that beat the defence but Mohammed Irufan failed to tap the ball in into the open net.
But Sri Lanka showed they have saved their best for the last stage tormenting Maldives with a series of attacks.
They tore the Maldives defence apart, did all except finding the net.
In the 65th minute Ashikur Rahman unleashed a cracking 35 metre kick that was gripped by Faisal when looping in.
In the 73rd minute Kavindu Ishan saw his right footer sail over the crosspiece.
In the 82nd minute Asela Madhusan shot straight to Faisal from the right edge of the box and Kavindu also did the same on the rebounder.
The last failure of the day was staged by Ashikur Rahman who with all of the time in the middle of the box placed the ball over.
Maldives play India on Sunday while Sri Lanka who finished their two matches have to wait for the proceedings.