Bangladesh's history in the SAFF Suzuki Cup


Bangladesh have had some memorable performances in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Suzuki Cup. Despite the tournament's inception in 1993, they only counted themselves among the participants since the 1995 competition.

Here's a brief look back at their performances in the prestigious regional tournament -

1995 - Sri Lanka

Bangladesh made their first appearance in the tournament and were drawn in Group A with Nepal and Pakistan and despite losing to the latter in their opening game 1-0, they beat the other 2-0 to top the group.

They met India in the semi-finals though and while they put up a good fight by keeping the game goalless even after extra time, they went down 4-2 in the penalty shootout.

1997 - Nepal

This time around, Bangladesh didn't fare as well as they did on their first go. They were clear underdogs in Group B against India and Maldives and finished bottom.

They did however hold Maldives, the runners-up in the tournament to a 1-1 draw but were convincingly beaten 3-0 by eventual champions India.

1999 - India

After a disappointing display last time out, Bangladesh responded well in this edition as they topped Group A which also included India and Pakistan, holding the hosts to a 0-0 stalemate before trouncing the latter 4-0.

The Bengal Tigers then beat Nepal 2-1 en route to the final where they faced India again and were defeated 2-0 and had to settle for runners-up medals.

2003 - Bangladesh

Bangladesh got their first opportunity to host the tournament and made the most of it. They topped Group B with a perfect record having dispatched Nepal and Maldives 1-0 each before cruising past Bhutan with a 3-0 win.

They were tied 1-1 with India in the semi-finals after regulation time but a goal from Munna in extra time saw them progress to the final. They finished 1-1 against Maldives after extra time on that occasion but emerged from the shootout victorious on a 5-3 score-line and lifted the trophy for the first time.

2005 - Pakistan

As reigning champions, Bangladesh maintained their good form in this edition as well. They won Group B this time as well after beating Bhutan and Nepal 3-0 and 2-0 respectively before drawing 1-1 with India.

After edging past Pakistan 1-0 in the semi-finals, they were beaten 2-0 in the final by India.

2008 - Maldives, Sri Lanka

This edition saw Bangladesh placed in Group B with Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Afghanistan. They drew 1-1 with Bhutan and 2-2 with Afghanistan before a 1-0 defeat to Sri Lanka sent them packing.

2009 - Bangladesh

The team were on home soil again and responded to their early exit a year before by winning Group B with a 0-0 result against Pakistan sandwiched between 4-1 and 2-1 victories over Bhutan and Sri Lanka respectively.

They were however stopped in their tracks by India in the semi-finals who ran out 1-0 winners before winning the final as well.

2011 - India

Bangladesh endured arguably their worst performance in this edition. They were drawn in Group B alongside Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan and went on to finish bottom with just one point.

A 0-0 draw with Pakistan before 1-0 and 3-1 defeats against Nepal and Maldives respectively saw their tournament end prematurely.

2013 - Nepal

Their most recent campaign in the tournament was however just as disappointing. They finished bottom of Group A beneath Nepal, India and Pakistan.

After starting with a 2-0 defeat to Nepal, they showed signs of a revival with a 1-1 draw with India but then lost 2-1 to Pakistan and were dumped out of the tournament.

Match Report: Maldives 2 – 1 India
Maldives defeated defending champions India 2-1 to lift the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka.
Match Preview: Maldives vs India
The 2018 SAFF Suzuki Cup final will be played between two teams who have faced each other more than any other in the competition’s history: Maldives and India.
Match Report: India 3-1 Pakistan
Defending champions India registered a 3-1 victory over Pakistan in a hotly contested SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 semi-final.
Final: Maldives vs India (Highlights)
Semi final: India vs Pakistan (Highlights)
Semi final: Nepal vs Maldives (Highlights)