Credit: Twitter

Credit: Twitter

Having defeated the Maldives 8-0 In the semifinal of the U16 SAFF Championship 2023, India came into the final riding a wave of momentum. The Blue Tigers defeated Bangladesh 2-0 to win the competition and take home the trophy.  The first goal was scored by Bharat Lairenjam for India, and later in the second half, Levis Zangminlun extended the advantage, thus knocking off Bangladesh in the championship game. 

Usham Singh's interception set the stage for India to take the lead spectacularly, as Levis Zangminlun's accurate ball sliced through the defence to find Bharat Lairenjam. The goalkeeper's touch wasn't sufficient, as Bharat shot it into the back of the net.

In the 55th minute, Vishal Yadav blocked a Bangladeshi attack and started an Indian counter. This presented another opportunity. Yaipharemba Chingakham, who was on the left, received and chipped it before delivering a precise cross into the box. Then, Bharat Lairenjam took advantage of the situation by taking a shot off the rebound, but it just missed the target. With a breathtaking goal from Levis Zangminlun in the 73rd minute, India doubled their lead. 

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) organised the SAFF U-16 Championship, an international football competition for men's under-17 national teams, for the eighth time in 2023. It was held in Thimphu, Bhutan, at the Changlimithang Stadium, from September 2–10, 2023. 

The reigning champions, India, defeated Nepal in the final to win their fourth championship in 2022. With this victory over Bangladesh on Sunday, India successfully defended its record as the most successful team in the competition and won its fifth championship.