Saff Championship 2021

Saff Championship 2021

‘Will consider Sri Lanka match as a semifinal’

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.

Qatar-grown Nawbab makes the cut

Newly appointed interim head coach Mario Lemos revealed a 24-member preliminary squad of Bangladesh football team for next month’s Four Nations invitational tournament in Sri Lanka yesterday.

Chhetri leads India to eighth SAFF title

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.

Time to stop going through the motions?

As the 13th edition of the South Asian football extravaganza concluded last night in Male, Bangladesh’s football fraternity should buckle up to thoroughly reflect on what transpired in the latest SAFF Championship for the country who last featured in the final of the prestigious tournament 16 long years ago. 

Can Himalayan David slay neighbour Goliath?

The curtain of the 13th SAFF Championship draws to a close today after the seven-time champions India take on debutant finalist Nepal in the closing match of the regional football extravaganza at Maldives’ National Football Stadium in Male.

The referee ‘killed our dream’

“We had been waiting for this moment for the last 16 years but you killed our dream,” Tapu Barman shouted towards Uzbek referee Akhrol Riskullaev soon after Bangladesh’s encounter against Nepal, as well as their SAFF Championship campaign, drew to a close on Wednesday at Maldives National Football Stadium in Male.

Chhetri moves past Pele

Indian captain Sunil Chhetri broke legendary footballer Pele’s record during their semifinal match of the SAFF Championship against Maldives on Wednesday.

'We had our hearts broken'

For someone who had just tuned in yesterday to watch the ongoing SAFF Championship’s virtual semi-final match between Bangladesh and Nepal at the dying seconds of the 78thminute, the move from the left that resulted in the sending off of goalkeeperAnisur Rahman Zico would seem like a great through-ball created by the Himalayan nation behind Bangladesh's defensive high-line . Although in reality, it was Rakib Hossain, whose atrocious back-pass towards the direction of his central defenders had Bangladesh on a slippery slope from then on at Maldives National Stadium in Male.

Finish-line anxiety and dubious refereeing decisions bring down Bangladesh 

‘Fortune favours the brave’ as they say, and when a team play the beautiful game as if they are a man down before actually becoming one, it is akin to playing with fire, especially on the big stages like the virtual semifinal match that was played between Bangladesh and Nepal in the National Stadium of Maldives in Male yesterday.

India knock out Maldives to reach final

A second-half brace from Sunil Chhetri powered India to an emphatic 3-1 victory over hosts Maldives at the National Football Stadium tonight to advance into the final of the SAFF Championship. 

Booters bow out after 1-1 draw with Nepal

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.

‘Dark forces were at work’

Oscar Bruzon believes the controversial decision to send off goalkeeper Anisur Rahman Zico was the turning point of the game before another dubious decision to award Nepal penalty killed off Bangladesh’s dream of playing the final of the SAFF Championship at the National Football Stadium in Male yesterday.

Spot-kick shatters Bangladesh’s dreams

Anjan Bista’s penalty, awarded by Uzbekistan referee Akhrol Riskullaev in a controversial fashion, in the dying minutes of the game broke the hearts of Bangladesh as Nepal came from behind to draw 1-1 in their final group fixture of the SAFF Championship at the National Football Stadium in Male yesterday.

Controversial penalty eliminates Bangladesh 

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. 

Chhetri vs Ashfaq: A final battle?

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.

Will Bangladesh’s forwards finally come forward?  

When head coach Oscar Bruzon asked the national football team manager Satyajit Das Rupu how many goals were scored by the forwards during training, Rupu signalled the Spaniard with his raised index finger and Bruzon heaved a big smile.

India win and raise Bangladesh’s chance of reaching final 

Seven-time champions India beat Nepal 1-0 tonight to keep their and as well as Bangladesh’s hopes alive of reaching the final of the 13th SAFF Championship.  

Booters denied bus in Male

Bangladesh national football team had a bitter experience in Maldives following a practice session yesterday as the booters had to return to the hotel walking on foot after the Football Association of Maldives refused to provide team bus due to the team’s extra training at Henveiru training ground in Male.