The last day of the calendar year 2015 decides which two teams will meet in the final of the 11th edition of the SAFF Cup.
Only four teams remain as of now â€” India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and defending champions Afghanistan. They will fight it out in the SAFF Cup 2015 semifinals on Thursday in Kerala.
Stephen Constantine's army look the favourites to lift the title for a record seventh time, and also have a major home advantage. This is the third time India are hosting the SAFF Cup, and playing at the home turf has really proved lucky for them. In 1999, the Blue Tigers defeated Bangladesh 2-0 at home, and in 2011, defeated Afghanistan 4-0 at home.
India were clubbed with Nepal and Sri Lanka in Group A of the competition this year, and Constantine's side topped the group after two straight wins. The Blue Tigers conceded just once in their last two games. From Group B, Afghanistan stayed the toppers, with three successive wins; Maldives was the other team to qualify from the group.
The defending champions have displayed brilliant goalscoring prowess so far, slotting home 11 goals from their last three games and conceded just once.
A repeat of the 2013 SAFF Cup final looks likely on the cards. Two years ago, Afghanistan defeated India 2-0 in the final in Nepal.
Nevertheless, the first hurdle remains the semifinals as of now. Here is the schedule of the two games.
SAFF Cup 2015 semifinals schedule:
|Date||Team A||Team B||Time||Venue|
|31 December, 2015||India||v||Maldives||3:30 pm IST||Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala|
|31 December, 2015||Afghanistan||v||Sri Lanka||6:30 pm IST||Trivandrum International Stadium, Kerala|
TV listings: Star Sports 4/HD 4 (entire subcontinent, except Afghanistan), Doordarshan (India), Kantipur TV (Nepal), Bangladesh TV (Bangladesh), BBS (Bhutan), Moby Q (Afghanistan), TVM (Maldives), Rupabahini (Sri lanka).