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Pakistan favoured in today's final, Lanka can upset

SOCCER: Sri Lankan soccerites who put up a gallant performance on Thursday to overcome India 6-5 in the first semi-final of the 10th South Asian Games now in progress here will take on the defending champions of the Games Pakistan today at the Sugathadasa Stadium at 10.00 p.m.

Sri Lanka opened its campaign in the championship with a victory over Maldives had a set back in their second game losing to Pakistan 1-0 four days later.

Pakistan who arrived later for the tourney after beating the host country one goal to nil kept the Group wide open with Maldives registering a victory over Bhutan. Each team collecting three points. On the final day of the preliminary round Pakistan defeated Bhutan to book their place in the semis and also eliminating Maldives from Group 'A'.

From Group B India made sure of their entry to the semis while after a tough battle Nepal made their way to the semis. Nepal met Pakistan on Thursday and after gruelling game moved out of the final losing the match in the extra time two goals to come.

Both past performance and the championship title with them Pakistan face the final as favourites, according to reliable sources Pakistanis are hoping to retain the title for another term.

After two successive victories and beaten only once to Sri Lanka the players morale in high, the same, sources said. The team will definitely go flat out today.

Sri Lanka which has won only a bronze from nine SA Games have got the opportunity to try its luck on gold for the first time. Here too the players morale is high said Clement de Silva the manager of the soccer team.

The Lankan team which is under the guidance of a Korean coach and E. B. Anthony has improved immensely. They have achieved the level within a space of only two months.

Jang Jung too is a happy man as Sri Lanka is reaping harvests in a very short period. He says that the boys are capable at the moment to bring glory to their country. He says the skipper has a heavy load in his shoulders. I am sure that do a fine job to save his side.

The weather has made the ground conditions very difficult for both players and officials. If fine weather prevails today the spectators are sure to witness high class of soccer from both teams as they equally balanced.



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