Xtra Time Web Desk: Favorites India had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh in the SAFF Championships opener on Monday. Sunil Chhteri scored for India, while Yasir Arafat tied the score for Bangladesh.
Indian football team captain Sunil Chettri scored in the 27th minute to put the Blue Tigers in charge. The 37-year-old Chhetri, who plays in his 121st game for India, is one goal less than the legendary Brazilian Pele (77 goals from 92 games). He now ranks fourth in the list of highest scorers among active footballers, behind Cristiano Ronaldo (111), Lionel Messi (79) and Iraqi Ali Mabkhout (77).
India dominated the match in the first half. The Blue Tigers also had a numerical advantage when Bangladeshi player Biswanath Ghosh showed the marching orders for a foul on Liston Colaco after 54 minutes.
But Igor Stimac’s men failed to keep the swift counter-attacking Bangladeshis on track and conceded a goal in the 74th minute to share points, much to the dismay of the Indian side.
India will play their second round-robin league game against Sri Lanka on Thursday.