South Asian Semis Set Up

Nepal kicked off on 26th December with an 8-0 beating of Bhutan, in which Sabitra Bhandari bagged a double hat-trick at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri.

The Maldives then sank Sri Lanka 5-2 in the second match of the Group A double-header, Fadhuwa Zahir leading the way with a treble.

Two days later and Nepal were well on their way through as they netted nine against the Maldives, with Bhandari prolific again with a five-goal haul.

Sri Lanka were 2-0 winners over Bhutan and when they faced the Nepalese, held them until 3 minutes from time when they conceded a decisive own-goal.

A 3-1 result for the Maldives over Bhutan then saw the former progress to the semi-finals.

With Pakistan pulling out of Group B, both the hosts and Bangladesh booked their semi-final berths by beating Afghanistan.

India were 5-1 winners, before Bangladesh netted six, with five of those coming from Sabina Khatun in the first 48 minutes.

The group decider on 31st December saw three-times winners India held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh, who therefore finished top on goal-difference.

In the semi-finals on 2nd January, India now play Nepal and Bangladesh meet the Maldives, with the final two days later.

Pictured – India celebrate a goal against Afghanistan. (Photo: AIFF)