Bhutan's history in the SAFF Suzuki Cup


Bhutan have a reputation for being perpetual minnows 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 2003 competition.

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

2003 - Bangladesh

Bhutan's first taste of the SAFF Suzuki Cup was one to forget as they finished bottom of Group B below Bangladesh, Maldives and Nepal with no points or goals and a goal difference of -11.

Maldives handed them a harsh welcome with a 6-0 thumping in their first appearance before Nepal and Bangladesh also comfortably dispatched 2-0 and 3-0 respectively.

2005 - Pakistan

Things didn't get any easier for Bhutan when they turned up for their second experience of the tournament. They finished at the bottom of Group B yet again which also included Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Following 3-0 defeats at the hands of Bangladesh and India, the Dragon Boys registered their first goal in the tournament in a 3-1 defeat to Nepal. They finished with zero points and a goal difference of -8.

2008 - Maldives, Sri Lanka

This edition saw Bhutan produce their best ever performance in the competition after being placed in Group B with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

They held Bangladesh 1-1 in their opening fixture before losing 2-0 to Sri Lanka. However, they were able to beat newcomers Afghanistan 3-1 and progress to the semi-finals where they faced India and were only narrowly edged out 2-1 after extra-time.

2009 - Bangladesh

Despite impressing in the previous year, Bhutan produced their worst ever display in this edition of the tournament as they failed to register a single point and finished bottom of Group B with a stunning -16 in goal difference.

They got off to a bad start as Bangladesh put them away 4-1 but things only got worse as Sri Lanka completed a 6-0 mauling over them before they were humiliated further in a 7-0 thrashing at the hands of Pakistan.

2011 - India

If their previous showing was their worst ever, this was almost identical. Bhutan were drawn in Group A alongside India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and went on to finish bottom again with another embarrassing goal difference of -15.

A stunning 8-1 mauling by Afghanistan was sandwiched between their 3-0 defeats to India and Sri Lanka and they were once again dumped out of the tournament with their tails between their legs.

2013 - Nepal

This edition saw Bhutan once again have a tournament to forget as they ended with no points again and a goal difference of -12 in Group B which also included Maldives, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

Following a 3-0 defeat to Afghanistan in their first game, they were crushed 8-2 by Maldives before losing 5-2 to a Sri Lankan side who were beaten 10-0 in their first encounter.

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)