India beat Maldives 3-1 via tie-breaker, win 5th SAFF title | india | Hindustan Times
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India beat Maldives 3-1 via tie-breaker, win 5th SAFF title

india Updated: Dec 13, 2009 20:51 IST

India avenged their last edition title loss as they prevailed over Maldives 3-1 via penalty shootout in the SAFF Championships summit clash to claim their fifth crown in Dhaka on Sunday.

After the match failed to produce any goal in the regulation and extra times, the match was decided in the penalty shoot out.

For India, who fielded an Under-23 side, Jibbon Singh, Denzil Franco and Subodh Kumar scored while Nirmal Chhetri missed the target.

Only Fazeel Ibrahim found the target for Maldives while Ahmed Thoriq, Makhuthar Naseer and star striker Ali Ashfaq failed to score.

India, who pocketed $50,000, had earlier won the title of the regional tournament in 1993, 1997, 1999 and 2005.

It was a fine show by the Indians, under Sukhwinder Singh, who were facing the flak for their lacklustre show in the group matches, including a 0-2 loss to the same opponents.

The Indian boys would also be proud of themselves as they did something which their full strength national senior side under captain Baichung Bhutia failed to do last year when Maldives beat them 1-0 in the final.

The match, which saw three Indian players -- Baldeep Singh, Balwant Singh and Jewel Raja -- bleeding after colliding with rival players, did not rise to any great heights except at the closing stages and extra time.