The Indian football team was held to a 1-1 draw by a lower-ranked Bangladesh side, in the opening encounter of the SAFF Championship in Male, Maldives, on Monday. Going into the tournament as favourites, India could not take advantage when the opposition was reduced to 10 players.
The Indian team came up with a rather uninspiring performance in the opening match of the SAFF Championship 2021, as they were held for a 1-1 draw by Bangladesh, at the National Football Stadium in Male, the Maldives on Monday. It was skipper Sunil Chhetri who gave India the lead in the 27th minute, but a goal from Yeasin Arafat in the 74th minute drew things level.
India started the match as the favourites, but looked out of colour in the opening encounter. The passing was wayward, and the forward line was not able to put much pressure on Bangldeshi defence.
In fact, Bangladesh did have an opportunity to strike early in the match, but Biplu Ahmed’s shot just narrowly missed the target. With this, India headed into the break with one goal lead.
Second half looked much better for the Indians as full-back Biswanath Ghosh was red-carded for a foul on Liston Colaco. But the Indians could not take advantage of the 10-man Bangladesh team. Courtesy some great passing, they were able to shift the momentum in their favour.
Towards the end of the match too, Bangladesh came close to scoring a winner, but some solid defending towards the end kept the opposition at bay.