KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Bhutan started its men’s football campaign of the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) with a 1-0 win over Bangladesh, while the Maldives shared the spoils of a goalless draw against Sri Lanka on Monday.
With the terrific win at Dasharath Stadium at Tripureshwar, Bhutan showed signs that football in South Asia could be exciting.
Bhutan scored the winning goal in the 65th minute as Chencho Gyalenchen struck for the team.
Bhutan kept Bangladesh under pressure in the first half creating some good chances and looked in attacking mode from the start of the match. With the win, Bhutan has been able to register its second win over Bangladesh, with the first stretching back to 2015 when Bhutan stunned Bangladesh 3-0 at an Asian Cup qualifying match.
Bhutan had played two friendly matches against Bangladesh that it lost. It lost the first game 2-0 and second 4-0. Bhutan got the first chance of the game in the 20th minute when Gyalenchen hit a shot from the danger area, but the ball just grazed wide of the bar.
Bangladesh got a chance in the 36th minute to take the lead, but could not utilize it. Mohammed Ibrahim crossed the ball to Mohamal Sad Udin, but his header went just over the bar.
Likewise, in the other game played on the same day, Sri Lanka and the Maldives shared a point after a poor attacking display from the both. The teams failed to convert their chances and had to be limited with just a point.
Even though Sri Lanka’s Sundar Raj Niresh was shown the red card in the 81st minute of the match, the Maldives could not take advantage of the situation and was left frustrated after the final whistle.
This is the first time football has returned to Dasharath Stadium that was destroyed in 2015 earthquake. The government took four and a half years to reconstruct the stadium.
Host Nepal will begin its SAG football campaign with a match against Bhutan before the Maldives takes on Bangladesh the same day.