Sri Lanka take on Afghanistan today
Sri Lanka who registered the first victory of the SAFF Championship
when they outplayed Bhutan by 3-0 will meet Afghanistan at the same
venue today. Today's game is vital for Sri Lanka as if they defeat
Bhutan, they will qualify for the quarter-final irrespective of the
result of the match against India on the seventh of this month.
In the match against Bhutan, Mohommad Zain scored the first goal for
the Lankans in the 29th minute while Nipuna Bandara double the lead six
minutes later. Bandara netted the third one in the 65th minute which
earned him the man of the match award. However Sri Lanka missed some
easy chances that could have been converted into at least another seven
'Today it will be competitive as a final and it is important that we
gain full advantage over Bhutan and secure our place in the tournament,
said Sri Lankan captain Rohana Ruwanthilaka addressing the media.
Sri Lanka coach Jang Yung said that players should be out to give a
better display in the match today. The forward players should pass the
ball with better understanding and we hope they would perform up to the
expectations and to avoid repeating mistakes with Afghanistan, said
Afghanistan are at 184 in the world ranking and Sri Lanka are ranked
at 177. Since 2003 they have met each other four times and Sri Lanka has
gained a victory while Afghanistan has won two. In 2008 at Sugathadasa
stadium the other game was drawn at 2-2.
Afghanistan won the last match in Kathmndu by 1-0 in the Asian
Championship qualifying match.