SAFF Championship HIGHLIGHTS India 1-1 Bangladesh: 10-man Bangladesh forces a draw against the Blue Tigers; Chhetri and Arafat the respective scorers

Bangladesh, despite going down to 10-men, clinched a hard-fought draw against a conservative Indian side through Arafat's goal, which cancelled Sunil Chhetri's first-half strike.

Indian football team

The Indian football team has won the SAFF Championship seven times.   -  AIFF

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's blog of the India vs Bangladesh SAFF Championship 2021 match being played live at the at the Maldives National Football Stadium.

This was Aneesh Dey bringing you the minute-by-minute update. That was all for today. Goodnight and take care.


MATCH REPORT: India held to a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh


90+4' Arafat delivers a low cross inside the box but it is cleared. The match is almost over now.

90+3' CHANGE- Farukh Choudhary replaces Glan for India.

90+2' India playing possession-based football to carve a chance out in these dying stages of the match but Bangladesh's defence, despite Bishwananth's loss, has been compact.


90 SHOT- A long-range effort by Lalengmawia on the volley, which had direction but not the required power to beat Amisur from that distance.

87' A wonderful cross by Pritam Kotal into the box. Manvir Singh and Rahim Ali both were targets but Topu Barman does well to steer the ball to safety.

84' SHOT- Sunil Chhetri did well to control the ball and set Manvir up for a shot. Manvir obliges but his shot is blocked as another chance to take the lead goes begging for the Blue Tigers.

79' Bangladesh, despite going down to 10-men looked the likelier team to score a goal with their counter attacks, winning the second balls and overall zeal. The Indians resorting to a very conservative approach, which has come back to bite them .

78' CHANGE- Bangladesh makes a change as MD Rahmat Mia comes on for Rakib Hossain.

74' GOOOOOAAAALLL!!!! BANGLADESH EQUALISES!!! ITS YEASIN ARAFAT!!! Jamal Bhuyan pinged in a great ball from a corner, which found an unmarked Arafat. The youngster guided the ball past Gurpreet with a diving head. What resolve from a team, which is down to 10-men.

71' CHANGES- Double change for Bangladesh as Sohel Rana and Suman Reza replaces Biplo and Matin Mia.

68' Sunil Chhetri with a great ball inside the box, which finds Rahim Ali. Ali gets his head to it but the header lacked power and Anisur does not have any problem dealing with it.

67' BOOKING- Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri sees yellow for his challenge on Topu.

65' CHANGE- Change for Bangladesh as Mahbubur Rahman replaces Mohammad Ibrahim.

64' Bangladesh with another counter attack with Mia and Topu spearheading the attack. Mia passes to Topu, which takes the latter away from goal. Topu's subsequent cross into the box dealt easily by the Indian backline.

63' CHANGE- Another change for India as Rahim Ali replaces Udanta.

61' SHOTS- Manvir Singh controlled the ball inside Bangladesh's box and pulled the trigger, which forced a save by Anisur. The rebound was collected by Chhetri who passed to Udanta. The winger's shot was saved by the keeper too.

59' CHANGE- A change for India as Lalengmawia replaces Colaco.

58' CHANCE- A great counter from Bangladesh as Matin Mia twisted and turned in front of Gurpreet's goal, ready to pull the trigger. Glan's challenge takes the ball away before the Bangladesh forward could do so.

54' RED CARD- Bishwanath pulls back Liston Colaco, who was clear to run at goal. This leads to the referee showing him a straight red as he was the last man. Huge blow for Bangladesh.  Took one for the team there.

53' BOOKING- Rakib Hossain of Bangladesh sees yellow after his tussle with Bheke.

52' CHANCE- Huge miss by Rakib as he cannot guide the ball into an open goal after Saad Uddin's inch-perfect cross to him. Gurpreet was a spectator as the ball flew wide of the target.

50' Chhetri does well to snatch the ball from Rakib who was not careful with the ball but could not pose any threat as Chhetri's touch was too heavy.

49' Kotal finds himself in acres of space as he tries to slip a through ball to Udanta but Arafat is aware of his surroundings and clears the ball before the ball could reach the Indian winger.

46' CHANGE- Stimac makes a change at the break as Brandon Fernandes replaces Thapa.


Who else but Sunil Chhetri to keep India in the lead at half-time? In a half, where both teams enjoyed their fair chances of taking a lead, the Blue Tigers find themselves ahead after Udanta and Chhetri combined to score the goal.

Bangladesh had a couple of chances of their own- Topu with a brilliant chance to head the ball home from a Bangladesh freekick and Rakib, who could not finish after a well-constructed Bangladesh attack.

What does the second half have in store? Stay tuned to find out. Will be back after a short break.


45+2' Bhuyan tries a long diagonal to Arafat but Chinglesana is at the right place to anticipate it and clear the ball.


45' Udanta with a good run down the right flank but his cut back to Chhetri lacked quality as the ball did not reach the Indian skipper.

42' Liston with one of his trademark runs down the left flank but Topu was there to lap up the threat posed by the darting Colaco. The defender snatches the ball with a well-timed tackle.

39' SAVE- Bangladesh with a brilliant counter attack after a India corner. The attack ended with Rakib taking a shot at Gurpreet but the Indian keeper did well to save the shot. Rakib almost tried to pass the ball into Gurpreet's far-post but the keeper anticipated the shot.

38' SHOT- Sunil Chhetri takes Bangladeshi players by surprise as he cuts in from the left flank and hits a curler with his left foot. It was enough to force a save from Anisur.

35' Topu attempts a lofted through for Bishwanath, who had taken a run but the ball's weight proving too much for the Bangladesh player as India clears the ball.

33' Bangladesh still very much in the match. It has created two good chances after conceding the goal.

32' Play resumes!!

31' Play halts for drinks break!!!

29' CHANCE- It was a good Bangladesh freekick as the ball was floated inside the box. Topu got his head to it but could not guide it in the direction he wanted.

28' SHOT- Hossain with a great shot at goal from distance. It is inches wide but Gurpreet Singh had his goal covered in all probability.

26' GOOOOOAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!! INDIA SCORES!!!! ITS SUNIL CHHETRI!! Pritam Kotal did well to release Udanta Singh, who darted inside the Bangaldesh box and made an accurate cut back to Chhetri. The Indian captain made no mistake in guiding the ball into the top corner.

22' Bangladesh, after a prolonged stretch of pressure, was caught out after Sunil Chhetri held the ball well and released Udanta for a counter but Rakib did well to stop the pacy India in his tracks.

19' India enjoying the lion's share of the possession with 72% but it is yet to pose any considerable threat to Anisur's goal.

17' Bose delivers a whipped cross into the box from the left flank but Topu Barman clears but it could Manvir, who was waiting to pounce.

16' This is the second time Chinglesana has overhit his pass to the left flank. Careless play by the Indian defender there.

13' It has been a slightly disoriented  approach from India. The Blue Tigers yet to find their footing in the game and create a rhythm. 

11' Ibrahim delivers a lovely low-cross with Mia being the intended target, but the Indian defence did well to anticipate the cross and clear it before Mia could pose any danger.

9' Colaco looking the brightest in the opening 10 minutes, as he makes a brilliant run down the right flank and delivers a cross inside the box. The cross is easily cleared by Bangladesh's backline.

6' Liston Colaco tries to wriggle between Bangladesh defenders to create space for himself but he is fouled by Mohammad Ibrahim.

4' Udanta Singh tries to take advantage of a loose pass and makes a run to get the ball but Bangaldesh keeper Anisur beats him to it

3' India with an added advantage as players from ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC have had plenty of match time in the Maldives national football stadium



A bit of throwback with 10 minutes to kick-off!!


Some stats for you!!


The boys have arrived!!


How the Blue Tigers line up!!

India XI: Gurpreet (GK), Bheke, Bose, Chinglesana, Thapa, Glan, Manvir, Chhetri (C), Udanta, Colaco,Kotal

Subs: Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Brandon, Choudhary, Dheeraj (GK), Jeakson, Yasir, Rao, Abdul Samad, Singh, Ali, Kaith

Coach: Igor Stimac

Bangladesh XI: Anisur (GK), Ghosh, Barman, Kazi, Arafat, Bhuyan (C), Biplo, Ibrahim, Saad, Matin, Rakib

Coach: Oscar Bruzon

Match Preview

Title favourites India begins its SAFF Championships campaign against a plucky Bangladesh on Monday, knowing fully well that it is just "a little bit superior" to its opponents despite the domination in this regional tournament.

India has won the tournament seven times out of the 12 editions but by the own admission of its talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri, every match will be like a "war to fight".

Bangladesh has been a tough customer for India, which had needed a late equaliser in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers match in Kolkata to draw 1-1. The Blue Tigers had though won the second leg 2-0.

READ: SAFF 2021: All you need to know

"Bangladesh are very difficult side. In the two matches we played against Bangladesh in the last few months, it has been very tough," Chhetri had said.

"All the matches (of the tournament) will be tough. Despite a little bit of superiority we many have, every game will be like a war to fight. We have to fight to the last minute. We cannot play 90 per cent."

The five-team tournament began on Friday with Nepal and Bangladesh beating the Maldives and Sri Lanka by identical 1-0 margins respectively.

Head coach Igor Stimac is taking the SAFF Championships, as the last opportunity for the players to play international matches before the start of the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in February next year.

He has not minced words in declaring that India is the favourite to win the tournament, saying "we will justify ourselves".


Indian captain Sunil Chhetri said, ""Bangladesh are very difficult side. In the two matches we played against Bangladesh in the last few months, it has been very tough."   -  AIFF


"The first game is always the most difficult game. Bangladesh is a known opponent, but we respect them immensely. In fact, we respect each and every team playing out here, and they have an equal chance to win the tournament,” the coach said.

Stimac made no secret that he will be making the most out of the ATK Mohun Bagan and Bengaluru FC players, having played in the Maldives earlier in the AFC Cup.

"We rely on Bengaluru FC and ATKMB players because not only they played here a few weeks back, but they started work with their respective clubs. And they had enough training sessions and games in their legs. So their engines are good for such a tournament," he said.

READ: We would like to play the SAFF Championship without any nervousness, says Stimac

"We need to be careful as to how many minutes we give to each player corresponding to what they can do at the moment with regards to endurance capacities." Chhetri said the message from our coaching staff and head coach is very clear that the players have to minimise mistakes.” "It is more and much more about how we play. We have to make sure that in every game no matter what, we give 100 percent. We cannot be complacent," he said.

Chhetri, a veteran of 16 years in international football, said he doesn't want to lose any game for the country.

"When you are young you play for a lot of things. As you get older, a lot of them diminishes. I've played over 100 games for India, I don't have another 100 and I want to make the most of all the games I have left.

READ: Indian men's football team's SAFF Championship campaign to be shown on Eurosport

"I want to win a game if I am playing for my country. Both the games against Bangladesh have been extremely difficult ones. I don't want to lose any game for my country," he said.

Other than Chhetri and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Pritam Kotal was also a part of the triumphant squad in 2015.

(Via PTI)

Complete Indian squad

Goalkeepers: Dheeraj Singh, Vishal Kaith, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Chinglensana Singh Konsham, Mandar Rao Dessai, Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Seriton Fernandes. 

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Jeakson Singh, Glan Martins, Suresh Singh, Liston Colaco, Yasir Mohammad.

Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Sunil Chhetri, Farukh Choudhary


Complete Bangladesh Squad

Goalkeepers: Anisur Rahman Zico, Sahidul Alam Sohel, Ashraful Islam Rana

Defenders: Topu Barman, Bishwanath Ghosh, Rahmat Mia, Tariq Raihan Kazi, Riyadul Hasan Rafi, Yeasin Arafat, Razaul Karim, Tutul Hossain Badsha, Mohammad Hridoy

Midfielders: Sohel Rana, Jamal Bhuyan, Saad Uddin, Rakib Hossain, Atiqur Rahman Fahad

Forwards: Biplo Ahamed, Mahbubur Rahman, Mohammad Ibrahim, Matin Miah, Suman Reza, Jewel Rana.


Where can you watch?

The SAFF Championship will be telecast in India on Eurosport and Eurosport HD. It can also be watched live online on Discovery + App.