India beat Bangladesh to lift SAFF U-18 football title

New Delhi:  India won the SAFF U-18 football championship for the first time after defeating Bangladesh 2-1 in the final in Kathmandu on Sunday.

India took the lead in the second minute when Vikram Partap Singh sped past his marker and took a shot which found the back of the net. The match-winner came in late in injury time when the nippy Ravi Bahadur Rana scored off a screamer from about 30 yards. In between, Yeasin Arafat reduced the margin for Bangladesh in the 40th minute.

“I had maintained that it will take a moment of brilliance to end this SAFF Championship, and it was fitting that Ravi finished if off with a wonderful strike,” India’s head coach Floyd Pinto said after the match.

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India’s Ninthoinganba Meetei was adjudged the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

The victory comes on the back of India winning the U-15 SAFF championship, beating Bangladesh in the final in August. While the U-16 national team went on to qualify for the AFC U-16 tourney, the U-19 Team will play the AFC qualifiers in November in their quest to qualify for the AFC finals.



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