With the day’s feat, hosts India not only clinched the SAFF U-20 Championship title but also took revenge of their 1-2 goals defeat against Bangladesh in the league phase.

The match was locked at 1-1 in the first half and was again locked 2-2 after the stipulated 90 minutes, that forced the final to 30-minute extra session.

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Gurkirat put hosts India ahead in the 2nd minute from a penalty. Rajon Howlader levelled the margin for Bangladesh in the 45th minute by scoring from a goalmouth melee, utilising a brilliant pass from right winger Rafiqul Islam.

Bangladesh took the lead from behind in the 48th minute when Shahin Mia found the Indian net.

Gurkirat Singh levelled the margin for India in the 60th, with a low shot from after receiving a ball from a goalmouth melee.

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No more were goals were scored in the remaining minutes of the stipulated time and the match went into a 30-minute of extra time.

Two minutes into extra time, Himanshu Jhangta put India ahead. Bangladesh youths lost their fighting spirit after conceding the third goal and ended up conceding twice more in space of six minutes, courtesy of Gurkirat Singh.

With the day’s feat, Gurkirat Singh emerged as the highest scorer and most valuable player of the meet. Indian custodian Som Kumar has been named as the best goal keeper while Sri Lanka team was adjudged most disciplined team.

This is Bangladesh’s third consecutive defeat in the final of the SAFF U-20 Championship (previously known as SAFF U-19 and U-18 meet). They previously lost to Nepal in 2017 and to India in 2019. Bangladesh is yet to win the competition.

Earlier, Bangladesh reached the final of the regional youth football meet unbeaten, beating Sri Lanka 1-0, hosts India 2-1, the Maldives 4-1 and drawing 1-1 with two-time champion Nepal in the group phase.

India booked a seat for the final by securing nine points from four matches after beating Sri Lanka 4-0, outplaying Nepal 8-0 and the Maldives 1-0 after losing to Bangladesh in their first match of the tournament.

Five South Asian nations – India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka--took part in this year’s fourth edition of the regional youth football meet.

Nepal and India are the most successful nation in the meet, winning the title twice.

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