Lebanon defeated Maldives in their last group-stage game by 1-0 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, Bengaluru. They will now face India in the Semi-Final of the SAFF Championship 2023 on 1st July at the same venue. The Maldives tried their best but couldn't even test the goalkeeper of Lebanon, They took 12 shots but none were in the target. Lebanon struggled at first to find the net but somehow managed to gather the three points and now Bangladesh have a golden opportunity to defeat Bhutan and qualify for the semis.
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Maldives were looking threatening at the start. They were trying to give an early blow to Lebanon but the Lebanese players showed their mentality and kept themselves calm while defending. It took them 23 minutes to process everything and to take control of the game and the example came up as a beautiful goal from Hassan Maatouk. Maldives tried to make a strong comeback but Lebanon just didn't allow them to play their natural game. The Lebanese players kept everything simple and under control and ended the first half with a 1-0 scoreline.
The second half was more physical and intense as the Maldives were looking for their equaliser badly. Well, Lebanon didn't even allow them to keep possession. Although Maldives took one shot more than Lebanon in total, the weird thing is, none of them were on target. Maldives were pretty much wasteful in the final half and it cost them. Lebanon also didn't find any goal in the second half and the match ended with the same 1-0 scoreline.
"Although we are not happy with the score, I am happy with the performance. We played according to the tactics against a strong opponent like Lebanon," Maldives coach said.
"It is hard to change the system and mentality in one year. For me, the Maldives are stronger now," the Maldives coach on if he should be sacked or carry on.
The players are out of the tunnel. The game is all set to begin.
The first half begins.
First Corner of the game.
Nothing fruitful comes out of Hamza Mohamed's free-kick delivery
Hasan Maatouk finds the back of the net with excellent right-footed free-kick delivery. The Maldives keeper has nothing to do
The Lebanese players are not allowing Maldives to get a hold of the ball.
Free Kick for Maldives
This time Hassan Maatouk's delivery gets deflected away hitting the crossbar
The first half ends 1-0 in favor of Lebanon
The second half begins.
Karim Darwich is booked now for a nasty challenge on Yousouf.
The offside flag is up against Hasan Maatouk.
Hamze Mohhamed delivers the free-kick but it gets a headed-out clearance by Karim Darwich.
It's still 1-0
It ends 1-0 in favor of Lebanon.