SAFF Cup 2018: India get off the mark with a comfortable win
Two goals were enough for India to run out comfortable and dominant winners in the opener...

Wingers Ashique Kuruniyan and Lallianzuala Chhangte netted a goal each as India romped to a comfortable 2-0 win against Sri Lanka in their first match of the 2018 SAFF Cup. The Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka witnessed a goal in each half (35' and 47') as Sri Lanka were downed easily by the Blue Tigers

Sumeet Passi lead India's attack with Farukh Chowdhury slotting in behind the striker. Anirudh Thapa and Germanpreet Singh acted as the double pivot with Vishal Kaith in goal.  Sajid Dhot and Salam Ranjan formed the backline with the help of fullbacks Subhasish Bose and Sarthak Golui.

Sujan Pereira took charge in goal for the Lankan Lions. 

India's most effective buildups originated from the flanks. Both Chhangte and Ashique were wreaking havoc on opposition's fullbacks. 

Skipper Subhasish's cross into the box was the first alarm for Sri Lanka's defence. Chhangte was left unmarked inside the box but the winger failed to convert the chance from close-range.

As Chhangte struggled with his end product, Ashique came up with the morale booster that India needed. Passi dropped deep to receive the ball and released the FC Pune City winger into the space inside the box. The Lankan defence was unaware of Ashique's run in behind and stood helpess as he executed a calm finish into the bottom corner. 

Chhangte was unlucky with his output in the final third throughout the first half. The Delhi Dynamos winger stepped up his game after the restart and doubled India's lead. Zuala's cross-cum-shot from the left flank flew into the net in the 47th minute.

India remained on the front foot for the rest of the half and had taken more than 15 shots by the end of it. Farukh could have put the game to bed if his piledriver had gone in instead of striking the crossbar. Manvir failed to net the rebound and the scoreline stayed the same. 

Farukh then missed a sitter in added time after Chhangte's cross found him within handshaking distance from goal. 

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Up next for India are Maldives on September 9, 2018.


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