SAFF CUP 2009 : BANGLADESH

The 2009 South Asian Football Federation Cup was initially going to be held in India in December 2009 after the Indian domestic season has finished, it was announced on 11 June 2008, just weeks after the 2008 edition had finished.

Since the announcement, India have not settled on a final date and have been urged by fellow SAFF members to host the tournament in January 2010, which India are reluctant to do.

In May 2009, at the AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, BFF president Kazi Salahuddin on his return from the AFC Congress informed that although India were still retaining their status as hosts of the championship, Bangladesh and Nepal had turned in fresh bids in anticipation of staging this prestigious eight-nation meet.

A decision was due be taken at the FIFA Congress in Bahamas in the first week of June but no announcement was officially made. In July, with the tournament drawing ever closer, media reports once again suggested that the tournament would be moved once again to Bangladesh, as Pakistan would struggle to obtain visas if the tournament is hosted in India.

It was announced that the championship would be held from December 4 till December 13.

SAFF CUP 2009 : BANGLADESH

INDIA TEAM

Goalkeepers: Arindam Bhattacharya (Churchill Brothers), Laxmikant Kattimani (Dempo)

Defenders: Denzil Franco and D.Ravanan (Mahindra United), Nirmal Chettri (East Bengal), Naoba Singh, Rowilson Rodrigues, Robert Lalthalma (Churchill Brothers), Ravinder Singh (Air India)

Midfielders: Jagpreet Singh, Baldip Singh (JCT), Manish Maithani (Mohun Bagan) Jibon Singh (East Bengal), Jewel Raja, Joaquim Abranches (Dempo SC)

Forwards: Balwant Singh (JCT), Sushil Kumar Singh (Mahindra United), Jagtar Singh (TFA), Jeje Lalpeklua (Pune FC)



GROUPS

TABLE- Group A

TEAM M W D L GF GA GDPTS
Maldives 3 2 10 62 +47
India3 2 01 2206
Nepal 3 1 11 42+24
Afganishtan 3 0 03 17-60

TABLE- Group B

TEAM M W D L GF GA GDPTS
Bangladesh3 2 10 62+47
Srilanka 3 2 01 82 +66
Pakistan 3 1 11 71+64
Bhutan 3 0 03 117-170



Fixtures

Dec 4 : Sri Lanka 1 - 0 Pakistan
SL: Gunarathne 23'

Dec 4 :Bangladesh 4 - 1 Bhutan
BAN:Das 11',Haque 22', 51',Ameli 72'
BHU: Dhendup 42'

Dec 5 : Maldives 1 - 1 Nepal (15.00 PM)
MAL:Thoriq Goal 61'
NEP: Jumanu Rai l 68'

Dec 5 : India 1 - 0 Afghanistan
IND:Jeje Lalpekhula 86'

Dec 6 : Sri Lanka 6 - 0 Bhutan
SL:Ediri 7' , 25',Nadika 39', 66', 78',Gunarathne 90'

Dec 6 : Bangladesh 0 - 0 Pakistan

Dec 7 : Maldives 3 - 1 Afghanistan
AFG: Hashmatullah Barkezai 30'
MAL: Ahmed Thoriq 52',Ali Ashfaaq 69',Ali Ashfaaq 88'

Dec 7 : India 1 - 0 Nepal
IND : K.Jeevan Singh 19'

Dec 8 : Pakistan 7 - 0 Bhutan
PAK: Essa 21', 54', Reis Ashraf 23', Arif Mehmood 28', 35', 66', Shabhir Khan 45'

Dec 8 : Bangladesh 2 - 1 Sri Lanka
BAN: Haque 8', 65' SRI:Gunarathne 42'

Dec 9 : Afghanistan 0 - 3 Nepal
NEP:Anil Gurung 55', 73', Bijay Gurung 56'

Dec 9 : Maldives 2 - 0 India
MAL:Thoriq 15', Fazeel 82'

SEMI FINALS

Dec 11 : Maldives 5 - 1   Sri Lanka
MAL : Thoriq 22' Fazeel 64', 85' Ashfaq 76', Assad Ali 89'
SRI : Channa 64

Dec 11 : India 1 - 0   Bangladesh
IND: Sushil Singh 62'

FINALS

Dec 13 : India 0 - 0, 3 - 1(Pen)   Maldives
Shot4 :(India): Subodh Kumar - Gooooalllll ( 3 - 1 )
Shot3 :(Maldives):Naseer Mukhtar - Saved by Arindam ( 2 - 1 )
Shot3 :(India): Nirmal Chhetri- Missed the target ( 2 - 1 )
Shot2 :(Maldives): Ahmed Thorik - Saved by Arindam ( 2 - 1)
Shot2 :(India): Denzil Franco - Gooooalllll ( 2 - 1)
Shot1 :(Maldives): Ibrahim Fazeel - Goal (1 - 1)
Shot1 :(India): Jibon Singh - Gooooalllll ..( 1 - 0 )


India beat Maldives to win SAFF Cup 2009...

13.12.2009 :: It was a fine show by the Indians, under Sukhwinder Singh's coaching, India U-23 beat Maldives 3-1 in tie-breaker to win the sixth SAFF Championships at the Bangabandhu stadium in Bangladesh for 5th time.

The victory of India was also a revenge for last years final which Indian senior team lost 0 - 1 in Colombo against Maldives.India won the title of this regional tournament in 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2005 also pocketed $50,000 as this year's winner.

Both the teams failed to score any goal in the regulation and extra times,then the match was decided in the penalty shoot out.Jibon Singh, Denzil Frnco and Subodh Kumar converted their respective spot kicks for Idia while Nirmal fired wide.

On theother hand Only Fazeel Ibrahim of Maldives found the target and Ahmed Thoriq, Makhuthar Naseer and star striker Ali Ashfaq failed to score.Indian goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharyya continued his splendid performance in the tournament and saved two spot kicks to help India win.

Both the teams entered the final of SAAF championship for a second consecutive year after India beat Bangladesh 1-0 and Maldives defeated Sri Lanka 5-1 in the semi finals.

It was also the second time in the year, a goalkeeper starred for India in a final. If it was Subrata Paul who shone in the Nehru Cup triumph earlier in the year, Sunday it was Churchill Brothersí goalkeeper Arindamís chance to announce his arrival in the international stage.

INDIA:Arindam, Denzil, Ravanan, Rowilson,Robert, Abranches, Baldeep Jr. (Nirmal Chhetri 115'), Jewel Raja(Subodh Kumar 65'), Jivan Singh, Balwant (Jeje Lalpekhula 100'), Sushil..


India beat Nepal to reach SAFF Semi Final...


7.12.2009 :: U-23 Indian team maintained its winning streak as they registered 1-0 win over Nepal senior team. In the SAAF cup, though all the teams have brought their senior team, AIFF and Indian National team coach Houghton decided to send the U-23 Indian team. Till now, this has worked as India won both their starting matches. They will play their last group league match on 9th December against Maldives. India are now in the top of the group A with 6 points from 2 matches.

India started dominating proceedings and made few good attempts at goal. Within first 15 minutes, India could have been ahead by 2 goals but Sushil's effort went out. Arindam also made few good saves today.

India took the lead in the 19th minute. Shushil Kumar Singh's curling free kick from about 25 yards that hitted the outside edge of the cross bar and rebounded ball allowing K. Jibon Singh to score with a header beating Nepal Keepr Bikash Malla.

After conceding the goal, Nepal started creating pressure and Jumanu and Lajong FC's Anil Gurung combined well, but Indian defence and goalkeeper stood firm and did not allow Nepal to score any goal.

In 1st half, Arindam and Joaquim was shown yellow card.

After change of ends, Nepal put more pressure and Arindam made few good saves. The best save came when Anil Gurung had a clear look at the goal with only Arindam to beat, but his effort was brilliantly saved by Indian goalkeeper.

Overall, the performance was very satisfactory from Indian point of view.

INDIA:Arindam ,Denzil ,Ravanan, Rowilson, Lalthalma ,Abranches(Subodh Kumar), Baldeep, Manish(Jewel Raja), Jeevan, Balwant(Jeje Lalpekhlua), Sushil,,

NEPAL:Bikash ,Anjan ,Biraj,Sagar, Rohit, Sandeep(Santosh) , Raju, Bijaya(Yogesh), Jumanu, Anil,Chetan


India Registered a Narrow Win against Afghanistan ..

5.12.2009 ::Debashis Majumder :Today at the Bangabandhu National Stadium of Dhaka in Bangladesh India registered a narrow 1-0 victory against Afghanistan in their first match in this edition of the SAFF Cup. But the Indian team did not produce expected performance today. Though the All India Football Federation (AIFF) has send to the SAFF Championship basically the U-23 Young Indian brigade under the coaching of Sukhbinder Singh but all the youngsters has been selected from the different I-League teams. So considering that it will be not incorrect to say that the Indian team today delivered a very low standard performance. But despite that India is lucky to register a victory to get the vital 3 points from the match.

In the first half of the match Indian team delivered a very disappointing performance and failed to make any positive move to open scoring opportunity. But on the other hand Afghanistan showed much disciplined performance as in the 30th minute the Afghans came very close to score. Except that in the first half Afghanistan also got couple of other close chances but the lack of scoring ability of the Afghan players failed to open the scoreline.

In the second half Afghanistan came out with more positive intensions and in 58th minute an Afghan attempt to Indian goal was critically denied by the Indian defence. Whereas in the 60th minute Afghanistan got a golden chance of scoring but on that occasion Indian goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya made a brilliant save to deny the Afghan attempt. It was after 75 minutes of the match the Indian team took the match seriously and therefore it seemed that finally they understood about the value of 3 points. In 78th minute Indian skipper Sushil Singh got a golden opportunity of scoring but his silly header could not make any difference while in the 82nd minute Manish Mathani and in 84th minute again Sushil Singh missed out to close opportunities. Finally in the 86th minute substitute Je Je Lalpekhula scored a brilliant goal to make the decider of the match. In the closing minutes Afghanistan again got a close opportunity but again their efforts was denied by the Indian keeper Arindam who played a fantastic game today.

Finally the match ends with 1-0 scoreline in favour of India. But the performances of the Indian team have to be improved in the next games only then India can be able to make their ways to the semis.

IND: Arindam, Denzil, D.Ravanan, Rowilson, Lalthalma, Abranches, Baldeep Jr., Jagpreet, Jeevan Singh, Balwant,Sushil Singh.