The Maldives government declared Tuesday to be a public holiday to celebrate the country’s successful title-winning run at the SAFF Suzuki Cup after the young side stunned the defending champions India in the final.
According to avas.mv, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom announced the holiday to celebrate and welcome the winning side on Tuesday. This is their first championship title in a decade.
The Maldives won the South Asian Championship for only the second time in their history with a shock 2-1 victory over India in Saturday’s final in Dhaka.
Ibrahim Mahudhee and Ali Fasir scored in each half to gift Maldives their first title since 2008. Despite an extra-time goal by India’s Sumeet Passi, Maldives turned out to be the better side to win the title.
It is being regarded as a big victory in Maldives as the side, coached by German Petar Segrt, reached the knockout phase of the competition only by virtue of a coin toss after they had finished level on points with Sri Lanka.
However, Maldives showed brilliant performances, seeing off Nepal in the last four and stunning the seven-time champions to claim the trophy.
India, fielding an Under-23 side except for one player, was chasing its eight triumph in 12 editions and its third back-to-back title. But the Indian forwards failed to put the ball on target on several occasions while the defenders lacked coordination. During the group stage, India were the better side, beating Maldives 2-0.