DUSHANBE, February 17, 2010, Asia-Plus  -- The inaugural match of the Asian football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup saw 2006 champions Tajikistan go ahead to head with 2010 South Asian Games gold medalists Bangladesh on February 16.  Tajik football players lost the game 1-2.

We will recall that the teams met in 2007 in a two legged World Cup qualifiers with Tajikistan winning 6-1 on aggregate.

In the meantime, according to the AFC website, new Bangladesh coach Saiful Bari Titu admits even he was surprised as the South Asian Games champions continued their recent form with a shock 2-1 win over former AFC Challenge Cup champions Tajikistan in Tuesday''s Group A opener at Sugathadasa Stadium.

Showing no ill effects following the departure of Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic on the eve of the tournament after last week''s gold medal triumph on home soul in Dhaka, Bangladesh produced an often superb display of flowing attacking football which left the 2008 finalists stunned.

After a goalless first half Bangladesh were rewarded for a long period of sustained possession as Mohammed Enamul fired home from a tight angle eight minutes after the hour mark.

And despite Yusuf Rabiev equalizing two minutes later, Bangladesh shrugged off the setback and Meshu headed home a cross from the lively Ameli with 11 minutes remaining to seal a memorable win before Tajikistan''s Farrukh Choriev was sent-off in the closing stages.

The 2010 AFC Challenge Cup football tournament is being held in Sri Lanka on February 16-27 February.  The winner will qualify for the Asian Cup 2011.  However, if India successfully defends its 2008 title, the runner-up will qualify instead.  India, the defending champions, will be fielding their under-23 squad for this tournament