LAHORE Amjad Iqbal, a 29-year-old part-time chemistry lecturer at Englands Bradford College, missed 88th minute penalty-kick as spirited Pakistan suffered 0-1 defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka in the opening match of SAFF Championship, the biggest South Asian football meet, that exploded into action today at Dhakas Bangabandhu National Stadium. Pakistan collided with Sri Lanka in what seems to be a fascinating opener. Both the teams were eager to make their mark on their recent improvements with a fine display that promised a fierce competitive atmosphere in the field. Pakistani coach George Kottan (Austria) knows the atmosphere well as he was the former coach of Bangladesh and won the title in 2003. Sri Lankan coach Sampath Perera was also well aware of the conditions and his team was no stranger to the Bangladesh conditions. Chatura Maduranga, the skipper and his long time attacking partner Kasuna Jayasurriya, led the Sri Lankan onslaught. The 1995 gold medallist struck the solitary goal of the match through midfielder Chathura Gunaratne in the 25th minute. The lankans kept their lead intact despite marching order of Dimudu Hettiarachchi in the 86th minute. We are here to win the title and take every match seriously, the first match was very important to the build up of the tournament and we had the firepower to be the best in the tournament, but bad luck eluded us as we fumbled golden opportunity, missing spot-kick. We want start with a win but missed chances cost us the match, said Kottan. Kottan hoped that his five England based players Amjad Iqbal, Atif Bashir, Adnan Farooq, Shabir Khan, Reis Ashraf will flourish in their first mission to uplift the team morale and we will go all out to gain full six points from next two league games. Sampath Perera on the other hand was looking to put in the experience of his players who are playing together for a couple of years. The players are eager to show their potential and Sri Lanka is focussed to win the title after the lapse of 14 years, we are ready to answer the fire with fire, said Perera. Saturdays Fixture: Maldives v Nepal (2 PM), India v Afghanistan (4.45 PM).