Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 23 (IANS) Mohamed Rifnas found a 90th minute winner for his side as Sri Lanka beat Nepal 1-0 in the inaugural match of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships at the Trivandrum International Stadium here on Wednesday. Rifnas capitalised on a defensive error to slot home an easy goal.

The last Nepal defender could not hold the ball and the Lankan emerged from behind to tuck it in. Earlier, it was a bright start for the Islanders as a Kavindu Ishan cross just needed a touch from the Lankan forwards to surge ahead in the sixth minute, but none could guide the ball into the empty net. Rohit Chand with a header then almost clinched Nepal’s opener but rival goalkeeper Sujan Perera pulled off a brilliant save to deny the midfielder.

Nepal thereafter had more possession of the ball but could not set up any clear-cut opportunities until the 21st minute. A free-kick was punched away by Perera but the rebound fell in the way of a Nepalese forward who could not find the back of the net. Frustrated, Nepal’s teenage sensation Anjan Bisht tried his luck from a distance but his shot flew well over the crossbar.


    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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