Thiruvananthapuram :Maldives notched up a comfortable 3-1 victory over Bhutan to open their campaign on a winning note in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championships.
The former champions shot into lead when Ahmed Imaaz scored in the ninth minute of the game at the Trivandrum International Stadium.
Tshering Dorji drew parity with a strike on the 20th minute through.
However, Assadhulla Abdulla once again put the winners of the 2008 edition in front when he netted in the 31st minute of the match.
The two teams went into the break with the 160th ranked Maldives enjoying a one-goal cushion.
Even as the Bhutan, ranked 188 in the world, hoped to get an equaliser in the second half, it were the Red Snappers who found the back of the net through the prolific Ali Ashfaq,
spearheading the attack, in the 70th minute to seal the issue in Maldives’ favour.