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    Palestine pip Maldives, enter AFC Challenge semis

    Kathmandu: Palestine defeated Maldives 2-0 in their final match of Group A played at Halchowk Stadium on Monday to seal their spot in the semi-finals of the AFC Challenge Cup after finishing second in Group A.

    Husam Wadi (59') and Ashraf Al Fawaghra (93+3') were the two goalscorers who helped the Al-Fursan in securing their passage through to the knock-out phase of the competition.

    The scoreline could have read differently if Umair Mohammed's free-kick had dipped in, but the Maldives player sent his shot over the bar, while Palestine were quick to fight back with Wadi's strike that didn't miss by a lot six minutes later.

    Imran Mohamed was then forced into action when his reflexes prevented Alla Atya from scoring the opener in the 19th minute, while the Maldives keeper continued to keep his side's final four hopes alive, making back-to-back saves off Wadi and Atya in the 34th minute.

    The Palestine unit finally managed to break the deadlock as Husam Wadi moved into the open before heading in Mohammed Mohammed's cross in the 59th minute.

    Despite their best efforts to get back in the game, Maldives weren't able to break past the opponent's defence and found themselves on the verge of elimination when Ashraf Al Fawaghra caught them on the counter with a solo effort that the Palestine striker finished in style late in stoppage time.

    Palestine have hence set-up a semi-final date against the winners of Group B, DPR Korea, while Group A leaders Turkmenistan will face whichever team finishes second behind the Chollima in the other group.