Nethma Malshan came off the bench to score an injury time equalizer against Maldives to secure an improbable 2-2 draw in the opening match of group B in the 2018 AFC U19 Championship Qualifiers in Tajikistan.
Under prepared Sri Lanka will look to defeat fellow South Asian…
Sri Lanka arrived at the tournament, with less than 24 hours till their first match, under prepared with no match experience. Given that the team was travelling for over 24 hours, in three flights to arrive in Tajikistan and without any rest – this result is highly commendable.
Maldives U19 came into the match as favourites and took the lead in the 15th minute through Rishwan Ismail. Sri Lanka held their own and was able to equalize on the stroke of half time through Peterite Shabeer Razooniya.
Half time – Maldives U19 1 – 1 Sri Lanka U19
Though Sri Lanka went into half time with high spirits, they were instantly dragged down when Musannif Mohamed restored Maldives lead in the first minute after the restart.
Sri Lanka again had to keep their shape and build from the start. Sri Lanka did well to keep the scores at 2-1 and in a desperate move launched an attack deep into injury time where Nethma Malshan, who came on as a substitute in the 2nd half, scored the equalizer.
Full time – Maldives U19 2 – 2 Sri Lanka U19
Maldives – Rishwan Ismail 15’, Musannif Mohamed 46’
Sri Lanka – Shabeer Razooniya 44’, Nethma Malshan 90+2’
Maldives – Abdulla Yaameen 84’
Sri Lanka – Pathum Vimukthi 40’