Wednesday, 19 January, 2022

India claim maiden SAFF U-18 title

Photo: TRN

By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Sept 29: India lifted maiden SAFF U-18 Football Championship title after stunning 9-man Bangladesh 2-1 at Armed Police Force (APF) Stadium, Halchowk, Kathmandu on Sunday.
Bikram Pratab Singh and Rabi Bahadur Rana netted one goal apiece in the historical victory for India while Bangladeshi team skipper Yasin Arafat scored a consolation goal in a tense clash.
India bagged the SAFF U-18 title for the first time in the third edition of the tournament while host Nepal was the two times defending championship of the tournament. The host Nepal was crashed out of the group stage of the tournament. Bangladesh was the runner-up of the last edition of the tournament.
Rana scored the winner for India in the dying minutes of the match. Earlier, Bikram Pratab Singh put India ahead in the second minute match but Bangladesh levelled the score 1-1 in the 38th minutes of the match through skipper Arafat.
Both India and Bangladesh were down to ten men after Gurkirat Singh of India and Fahim Morshed of Bangladesh involved in a physical scuffle prompting skipped to give them marching order in the 23rd minute.
Bangladesh was down to nine-man as its skipper Arafat booked for the second yellow for his goal celebration.
Bangladesh players had halted the match proceeding claiming poor decision of FIFA referee Kabin Byanjankar. The match was stopped after Bangladeshi skipper who had suffered second yellow card showed dissatisfaction over referee’s decision.
Earlier, Bangladesh had secured their spot in the final thrashing Bhutan by 4-0 in the semifinal while India overcame the Maldives by 4-0 in the semi-final on last Friday.
Meanwhile, the Maldives had secured their spot at the third spot in the third edition of the championship after beating Bhutan by 1-0 in the third place play-off held at the ANFA Complex Satdobato, Lalitpur on Sunday morning.
A total of six nations from South Asian Region had participated in the tournament including host Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.