SRI LANKA



Champions in the second edition of the SAFF Suzuki Cup in 1995, Sri Lanka will hope to upset the established order in Bangladesh. A victory over India in the final back then meant that the Lankans triumphed on home soil. They jointly-hosted the SAFF Suzuki Cup in 2008 again but could only reach the semifinals then. The following year, Sri Lanka made it to the final four again when the competition was last held in Bangladesh. In the 2003 SAFF Suzuki Cup, though, the Lankans failed to qualify from their group on Bangladeshi territory.

Sri Lanka will arrive in a low moment as the team has not played an international match since November 2016. It currently finds itself placed 200 in the FIFA rankings. Coached by Dudley Steinwall, Sri Lanka will be looking to rejuvenate itself at the SAFF Suzuki Cup where it has also been a finalist once and semifinalist four times.

The relatively inexperienced squad is captained by striker Kavindu Ishan who has played 18 times for his country. Forward Nipuna Bandara is another vital figure in the Sri Lankan plans while Dumidu Hettiarachchi will marshal the defence. In midfield, Chathuranga Sanjeewa and Sanka Danushka are likely to play an integral role.

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