It took Maldives 15 years to finally beat Bangladesh ever since the 5-0 drubbing in their debut match against the Men in Red and Green in 1984, whereas the Islanders had flipped the script to initiate a decade-long winning streak of their own since the 2011 edition of SAFF Championships. However, it all ended with a 2-1 defeat to Bangladesh in the ongoing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa Trophy in Sri Lanka on Saturday.
India once again proved too strong for their neighbours, securing an eighth SAFF Championship crown by beating Nepal 3-0 in the final of the 13th edition of the regional football extravaganza at the National Football Stadium in Male yesterday.
Bangladesh’s hopes of reaching the final of the SAFF Championship after 16 long years were dashed in controversial fashion as a dubious penalty decision late in the game saw the men in red and green relinquish a one-goal lead against Nepal in their last group match at the National Stadium in Male yesterday.
Ten-man Bangladesh failed to hold on to a slender lead as an 88th-minute penalty by Anjan Bista saw Nepal bounce back and eke out a 1-1 draw today in their final SAFF Championship group stage game in Male, denying the men in red and green a chance to make it into the final of the regional championship for the first time in 16 years.
Two of South Asia's best forwards in Sunil Chhetri and Ali Ashfaq, have traditionally been Bangladesh national team's tormentors in chief since they began representing their respective sides India and Maldives in the international arena. Both of them found the mark yet again in the ongoing SAFF Championship by scoring a goal apiece against Bangladesh.