SAG: India downs Maldives to reach football semi-finals

Kuman Udanta Singh fired a brace while Pritam Kotal scored one in India's 3-2 victory over Maldives.

Players of Indian (blue) and Maldives Football team in action at the 12th South Asian Games   -  PTI

India beat Maldives 3-2 in its concluding Group A league match and sailed into the semi-finals of the SAG football competition, here at the SAI ground on Wednesday. Kuman Udanta Singh scored twice while Pritam Kotal found the target once for India.

Muruthala Adnan scored once while Kotal struck an own goal as Maldives neutralised India’s lead twice in the match. India will now take on the winner of Group B, which is yet to be decided, in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Three goals happened in the first 12 minutes as India took the lead first through Udanta’s fifth-minute goal. Adnan equalised for Maldives in the 10th minute before Kotal went up to nod home a 12th-minute corner and make it 2-1. Kotal miscued an attempted clearance following a Maldives corner into his own goal in the 42nd minute (2-2) nixing the earlier effort that got the host the lead.

India put up a much organised performance compared to its first outing which it lost 0-1 against Sri Lanka. India regained the lead decisively in the 59th minute through Udanta Singh, who scored an opportunistic goal to ensure the required points. With all three in Group A – India, Maldives and Sri Lanks – tied on three points from a win each, Maldives (+1) and India (0) made it to the last four stage beating Sri Lanka (-1).

The result: India 3 (Kuman Udanta Singh 5, 59, Pritam Kotal 12) bt Maldives 2 (Muruthala Adnan 10, Pritam Kotal 42-og)

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