The India U-18 national football team in action. © Twitter
The Indian U-18 national football team was held to a goalless draw by Bangladesh in their opening match of the SAFF U-18 Championship at the APF Stadium on Monday. India will next take on Sri Lanka on September 25, which will be their last group stage match of the championship. Sri Lanka had earlier lost 0-3 to Bangladesh. The top two teams from the group will qualify for the semi-finals slated for September 27. The Indians started the match on an attacking note, but an injury to goalkeeper Prabhsukan Singh Gill in the 9th minute meant that Pinto had to make an early change.
With Bangladesh committing bodies in defence, India were not able break through.
Chances for the Indian U-18 team came through set pieces. In the 36th minute, Sumit Rathi’s header came close to giving India the lead, but it flew inches over the bar.
Changing over, the second half was much like the first, with India dominating possession but failing to create clear goal chances.
Despite making two changes to the attacking front, India failed to create clear-cut goal scoring opportunities, and could not convert half chances.