RICKI HERBERT’S Maldives team gave India a major fright with a late fightback that almost sent the semi-final of the SAFF Suzuki Cup into extra time.
Indian striker Jeje Lalpekhlua scored twice as the Indian football team reached the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Cup final with a 3-2 edge-of-the-seat win at the Trivandrum International Stadium.
Tournament hosts India were hot favourites to win the semi but the Maldivians – ranked 160th in the FIFA world rankings – twice came back to create a nervous last 15 minutes for the Indians who were forced to defend.
With group wins against Bhutan and Bangladesh, both by 3-1 scorelines, Herbert can be happy with the progress he’s made in the short time he has been working with the Maldivians.
Herbert was appointed national coach in September 2015.