Afghans shock Lankans for 2nd win in a row
KABUL (PAN): Afghanistan registered a pulsating 3-1 upset win over Sri Lanka in their Group B match of the eighth South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in Kathmandu, an official said on Wednesday.
It was the second consecutive victory for the national side, an Afghanistan Football Federation official told Pajhwok Afghan News. In the previous encounter at the APF Stadium, Islam Amiri, Mustafa Azadzoy and Hashmatullah Barakzai scored one goal to see Afghanistan dry and home.
Sri Lanka shot into lead in 35th minute, with Afghanistan trailing 1-0 at the end of the first half, despite some brilliant moves. But Rafi Barakzai levelled the game for Afghanistan in 62nd minute. Captain Islamuddin Amiri found the nets in 76th minute, leaving the opposition struggling.
Ten minutes later, Hashmatullah Barakzai scored the third goal to consolidate the tally. Earlier, Bilal Arzo failed to convert a spot kick, as Sri Lankan goalie Sujan displayed alacrity and saved his shot.
By coincidence, it was the second shock result for the Sri Lankans -- 170th in FIFA rankings. In their first outing, they went down 10-0 to the Maldives, whose skipper Ali Ashphak notched up six goals.
The Sri Lankan side included Suranda, Izzadeen, Dewinda, Sujan, Rizni, Eranga, Sanjeewa, De Silva, Sameer and Fazal.
Afghanistan: Ahmad Arash, Maroof, Mohammad Yuseh, Mustafa, Farzad, Mustafa Hadid, Haroon Fakhrudddin, Mansur Faqiryar, Sanjar, Bilal Arzo.
Hosts Nepal are drawn alongside defending champion India, Bangladesh and Pakistan in Group A, while Afghanistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Bhutan are placed in Group B.
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