The Maldives were handed a 3-0 defeat by Pakistan in their opening game in the SAFF Under 16 Championship in Bhutan on Monday.

Pakistan displayed their dominance right from the beginning of the match, securing an early lead in the 14th minute with a goal from Subhan Karim. 

The Pakistani team continued to press forward, and in the 39th minute, Abdul Samad capitalised on a corner to further extend their lead. The Maldives found themselves trailing by two goals at halftime.

The second half didn’t bring any respite for the Maldives, as just six minutes in, Majeed Ali netted another goal for Pakistan, sealing a disappointing start for the Maldives in the championship.

The Maldives are placed in Group B alongside Pakistan and Bhutan. Meanwhile, Group A consists of India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

The Maldives will now face Bhutan in their final group match on Wednesday. Pakistan, on the other hand, started their campaign strongly, winning their first group match by defeating Bhutan 2-1. With the win against the Maldives, Pakistan confirmed their place in the semifinal of the competition.