Auspicious start for India in SAFF Suzuki Cup


DHAKA, Sept 5, 2018 (BSS) – Defending champions India got off to a winning start in the SAFF Suzuki Cup when they blanked Sri Lanka by 2-0 goals in their opening Group B match held on Wednesday at Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS).

India launched attack in the 13th minute when a nice cross from Subhashish Bose from the left-flank found Lalrinzuala Chhangte at the far post within a handshaking distance from the goalline, but his shot was too poor that went way off target.

In the 16th minute, India got free-kick after a naive handball from Mohamed Rifaz, but Chhangte’s shot from 30 yards was nicely collected by Sri Lankan custodian Perera.

Mid fielder Ashique Kuraniyan, who scored the first goal for India in the tournament, gave his team a deserving lead in the 35th minute. With a perfect run from the right flank, dodging past through couple of Lankan defenders he sent the ball home with a left footer placing shot.

The Sri Lanka tried their best to launch a mocking attack at the fag end of this half but the referee blew his whistle to bring the culmination to the first half.

After the resumption India seemed more organised and they doubled their lead in the 47th minute when Lallianzuala Chhangte barged through the left flank, went past Ratyanake and cleverly sent the ball to the net at the far post giving no chance to Sri Lankan custodian Perera.

Indian came close to score in the 82nd minute when Manvir Singh took a powerful shot from inside the D box but the Lankan custodian Perera nicely foiled the attempt.

Another scoring chance came for India in the 88 the minute as Chhangte provided a right wing cross to Farukh, whose powerful header was brilliantly saved by Perera, who was superb under the bar foiling some clear attempts.

The blue Tigers dominated the proceeding and notched their deserving victory while Sri Lanka were totally off-colored and failed to put pressure on India.

Both Sri Lanka and India will play their last group matches against the Maldives scheduled to be held on September 7 and 9 at the same venue.

Thursday’s matches: Nepal vs Bhutan (4 pm) and Bangladesh vs Pakistan (7 pm) at BNS.