Kyrgyzstan end Sri Lanka hopes

Kyrgyzstan finished their failed campaign in the Nehru Cup on a high, defeating Sri Lanka 4-1 in their last league match at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi.

First-half goals from Anton Zemlianuhin and Amirov Ildar and second-half efforts from Mirlan Murzaev and Rustem Usanov not only ensured a convincing win for Kyrgyzstan, but also ended Sri Lanka's slender chances of progressing.

Sri Lanka needed victory by a large margin to stay in contention, but their defeat means India will progress to the title match and fellow finalists Syria will have an opportunity to exact revenge for their defeat by India in the final of the previous edition. It also renders the final league match tomorrow between the two finalists inconsequential.

Kyrgyzstan began with vigour and zest, but Sri Lanka staved off their attacks for much of the first half with a stout effort in defence.

Zemlianuhin eventually broke through after 34 minutes, putting away a cross from Vadim Harchenko to hand his team the lead. Ildar doubled the lead almost on the stroke of half-time, Harchenko again supplying the final touch and Ildar easily beating Asanka Viraj under the Sri Lanka bar.

Sri Lanka drew one back when Chatura Weerasinghe headed home a cross from Mohammad Issaden after 53 minutes to keep his team briefly in contention.

But Murzaev again gave Kyrgyzstan a two-goal advantage slotting in after a loose ball came his way, while Usanov ensured no comeback would occur with a goal after 70 minutes.