Defending champions India produced a under-par performance but still managed to beat arch-rivals Pakistan 1-0 in the opening game of the SAFF Football Championship here on Sunday.
It took an own goal from Pakistan captain Samar Ishaq in the 14th minute that ensured three points for Sunil Chhetri and team. India will take on Bangladesh in their second group league encounter on Tuesday.
The match was billed as a contest between Pakistan defender and former Fulham player Zesh Rahman against Chhetri. Both experienced internationals however were lacklustre during the 90 minutes of play.
The only goal of the game came in the 14th minute when Ishaq guided a Nirmal Chhetri cross into his own net.
India's best player on the day was young winger Francis Fernandes who repeatedly beat opposition left-back Kamran Khan, who was replaced in the 33rd minute.
India enjoyed good posession throughout with two central midfielders Mehtab Hossain and Lenny Rodrigues controling the majority of the game.
(with PTI inputs)
Story first published on: Sunday, 01 September 2013 20:50 IST