Sri Lanka, Maldives end in stalemate

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A depleted Sri Lanka delivered an improved performance to hold Maldives to a 1-all draw in their last outing of the ongoing SAFF Under-20 tourney kicked off in Bhubaneswar, India on Sunday (31).

Both halves in regulation followed a similar script, as both sides exchanged possession without putting together any real chances for the first 20 minutes. The latter portion of each half was spent with each moving forward and setting up opportunities, though none found the back of the net.

However, it was Maldives who broke the deadlock courtesy a poor defensive effort from Sri Lanka defenders as an attempt to clear the ball fell straight at the feet of the Maldives striker, who placed the rebound to the bottom corner to shell shock the Sri Lankan camp.

Sri Lanka with one goal deficit kept on pressing and attacking and chances went abegging in the latter stage of the match.

However, the islanders after a prolonged period of pressure on the Maldivian defence, saw a determined Theshan Thushmika score the equalizer in the 92+ minute, when he pinged in a great ball from a free kick by the winger, which found an unmarked Theshan. The youngster headed the ball past the Maldivian custodian to level the scores.

It was Sri Lanka first goal in the tournament in four matches.

(MS)