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SAFF Championship 2021: 10-men Bangladesh held by Sunil Chhetri's India

India struggled to keep Bangladesh in check in the second half and had to settle for a draw. (Image: AIFF)
India struggled to keep Bangladesh in check in the second half and had to settle for a draw. (Image: AIFF)

The Indian football team had to depend on a Sunil Chhetri goal to earn a point against a spirited 10-men Bangladesh in their first game of the SAFF Championship 2021 in Male, Maldives.

The Blue Tigers dominated proceedings in the first hour before Bangladesh took control of the game. The Bengal Tigers went down to 10 men in the second half but still found the equalizer through Yeasin Arafat.

The Indian football team dominated proceedings in the initial few minutes of the game. The Blue Tigers also had the lion's share of possession. However, Bangladesh defended with discipline in the first twenty minutes of the game and didn't allow Igor Stimac's side to come close to scoring in their first 2021 SAFF Championship game.

It took a bit of individual brilliance from Udanta Singh to get the first goal for the Indian football team. The Bengaluru FC winger made a darting run down the flank after getting away from his marker.

He found Bengaluru and Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri with a low cross. Chhetri dispatched the ball right into the back of the net in the 26th minute as Anisur Rehman stood rooted to his spot.

Bangladesh dominated the game after going 1-0 down to the Indian Football Team in the SAFF Championship

The game opened up after India's goal. Bangladesh emerged out of their defensive shell to try to score the equalizer. The likes of Biplo Ahmed and Muhammad Ibrahim made some darting runs down the wings to stretch the Indian defense but didn't manage to get a shot on target due to a lack of quality finishers.

Bangladesh were reduced to ten men in the second half of the SAFF Championship encounter. Bishwanath Ghosh was given marching orders after bringing down Liston Colaco when the ATK Mohun Bagan FC winger was through on goal.

FULL TIME! โŒ›๏ธThe referee brings the match to a close, as both India and Bangladesh share the spoils today.๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ 1-1 ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณโœ๏ธ: bit.ly/3moF2uN#BANIND โš”๏ธ #SAFFChampionship2021 ๐Ÿ† #BackTheBlue ๐Ÿ’™ #BlueTigers ๐Ÿฏ #IndianFootball โšฝ https://t.co/VZ3Gsg3SbW

However, the numerical disadvantage did not deter Oscar Bruzon's side. Bangladesh equalized after Yeasin Arafat headed into the back of the net from a Jamal Bhuyan corner in the 74th minute as the Indian defense was caught napping in their opening 2021 SAFF Championship encounter.

Bangladesh came close to scoring through their counter attacks. However, Stimac's men somehow managed to hold on to that 1-1 scoreline to start their SAFF Championship 2021 campaign with a draw.

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Edited by Sankalp Srivastava
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