The SAFF Championship 2011 kicked-off at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi in the presence of Indian sports minister Ajay Maken. Maken inaugurated the tournament, before Bangladesh and Pakistan took on the pitch for the opening match.
Bangladesh and Pakistan opened the tournament with a goalless draw in front of a handful spectators at the venue.
The Maldives and Nepal played the last match of the day in Group B. Ali Ashfaq gave the Maldives the lead in the dying minutes of the first half, but Sandip Rai managed to level the score and secure his team a point.
Meanwhile, sports minister Ajay Maken has expressed his concern on the low turnout for the two matches.
“We have asked the AIFF to provide complimentary passes to school kids and even parents will be allowed free entry. They will have to show their identity cards at gate number 14, which has been thrown open for them,” Maken told the media.
“We have asked Satpal, who is the director of our school division, to work on this,” the minister added.
The tournament will continue tomorrow with hosts and defending champions India taking on Afghanistan in Group A, while Sri Lanka and Bhutan face each other in the second match.
There will be EXCLUSIVE LIVE COVERAGE of the INDIA vs AFGHANISTAN match at www.facebook.com/cpd81 – So tune in and catch all the latest LIVE ACTION!
The India vs Afghanistan match will kick-off at 15.00 IST (10.30 CET / 9.30 GMT).
Bangladesh 0-0 Pakistan
Bangladesh – Starting XI
30-Md. Shahidul Alam Sohel; 2-Md. Nasirul Islam Nasir, 19-Md. Sujan [C], 5-Md. Ariful Islam, 3-Rezaul Karim Reza; 7-Pranotosh Kumar Das, 15-Md. Shahedul Alam Shahed, 8-Mamunul Islam Mamun, 12-Abdul Baten Mazumdar Komol; 28-Md. Shah Alamgir Anik, 10-Md. Zahid Hasan Emily
Pakistan – Starting XI
1-Jaffar Khan; 9-Muhammad Rizwan Asif, 3-Muhammad Ahmed, 5-Samar Ishaq, 4-Kamran Khan; 2-Faisal Iqbal, 20-Saddam Hussain, 10-Kaleem Ullah, 6-Atif Bashir Qureshi, 8-Adnan Farooq Ahmed; 11-Jadeed Khan Pathan
Maldives 1-1 Nepal
1-0 Ali Ashfaq (45′)
1-1 Sandip Rai (49′)
Maldives – Starting XI
Nepal – Starting XI
16-Kiran Kumar Limbu; 19-Sagar Thapa, 32-Rohit Chand, 2-Rabin Shrestha, 3-Biraj Maharjan, 13-Sandip Rai; 7-Bijay Gurung, 15-Raju Tamang, 21-Bharat Khawas; 9-Santosh Sahukhala, 10-Anil Gurung