India and Bangladesh shared spoils in the Blue Tigers' first match in the 2021 SAFF Championship as they played out a 1-1 draw at the Maldives National Football Stadium.
After a slow start to the game, Indian skipper and the ever-reliable Sunil Chhetri put Igor Stimac's side ahead on 26 minutes. Chhetri coolly fired home after Udanta Singh cut the ball back for the 37-year-old inside the Bangladesh penalty box.
That goal sprung the game to life as Bangladesh intensified their attack in search of an equaliser, while India also had chances to double their lead. However, the scoreline remained the same at the end of first-half.
Bangladesh, who began the second strongly, were reduced to 10 men in the 54th minute after Biswanath Ghosh denied Rahul Bheke a clear goalscoring opportunity by fouling the Mumbai City defender.
The numerical disadvantage, though, did not dishearten Bangladesh, and their efforts were finally paid off in the 73rd minute as Yeasin Arafat found the back of the net to restore parity. Jamal Bhuyan's corner was flicked across the goal and Arafat headed it in at the far post.
Both teams tried to find a winner thereafter, but neither could as the game petered out for a 1-1 draw.