In its first SAFF U-18 Championship contest, the Indian U-18 football team was held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh at the APF Stadium in Kathmandu on Monday.
The Indians started the match on an attacking note but an injury to goalkeeper Prabhsukan Singh Gill in the ninth minute meant that Floyd Pinto, the head coach, had to make an early change. With Bangladesh committing bodies in defence, India wasn't able to break through.
India's chances came through set pieces. In the 36th minute, Sumit Rathi came close to giving India the lead, but his header flew inches over the bar.
The second half was similar to the first. India dominated possession but failed to create opportunities to break the deadlock. The team made two changes to bolster its attack, but it didn't yield dividends.
Pinto admitted it “it was a difficult game” for his wards.
“Bangladesh defended with 10 men, and I have to give credit to the boys for not stopping to put in the effort. We have got a point from this match is a minor positive. But these boys will improve as the tournament progresses, and their quality of football will also improve,” Pinto said.
India next plays Sri Lanka on Wednesday. It will be its last contest in the Group Stage. The Sri Lankans had been defeated 3-0 by Bangladesh.
Top two teams from the group will qualify for the semifinals on September 27, 2019.
- Premier League: Fernandez double helps 10-man Chelsea to 3-2 win over Brighton
- Pro Kabaddi League 2023 Highlights: Gujarat beats Bengaluru 34-31 in thriller before Ajinkya Pawar’s one-man show leads Tamil to 42-31 win over Delhi - PKL 10 matchday 2 updates
- I-League 2023-24: Goncalves keeps Shillong Lajong’s unbeaten run intact, against Rajasthan United
- India vs Australia Live Score, 5th T20I: IND wins by 6 runs as Arshdeep defends 10 in the last over
- ISL 2023-24: NorthEast United looks to avenge Durand Cup loss against East Bengal