KATHMANDU, Sept 14: Title contender Nepal will lock horns with host Sri Lanka in the semifinal of Second Women´s SAFF Championship being held in Colombo on Friday.
Nepal is the winner of group B and Sri Lanka is the winner of group A. Sri Lanka made it to the semifinal after defeating last edition semifinalist Bangladesh during its last match of group stage.
Though Sri Lanka is rated a comparatively weaker opponent, Nepal´s coach Kishor KC said that his team would respect the opponent. "A weaker side cannot make it to the semifinals but it came up with an improved performance against Bangladesh," said KC.
So far the two teams have played only once during the 11th South Asian Games (SAG) in 2010 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. On the occasion, Nepal had achieved a comfortable 8-0 win over the South Asian rival with a hat-trick from Jamuna Gurung and twin goals from Anu Lama.
However, coach KC doesn´t rate home team a weak side and opines that his side needs to be wary of five opponent players. KC also said that the semifinal would be a test for defenders. "We conceded a goal against Afghanistan due to weaknesses of the defenders," KC shared.
"Our midfielders and forwards have good combination and both departments are equally capable of scoring," said KC who saw the two midfielders score two goals apiece against Afghanistan in its last group match.
Sri Lanka coach Mahinda Kapugader said the semifinal match with Nepal itself was an achievement for the team. "Everyone knows how Nepal is playing but this is first entry of our team into the semifinal. We will give Nepal a tough fight," Kapugader said.
In the day´s kick off match, defending champion India will meet Afghanistan in the first semifinal.