It was the first match for Abahani's recently appointed head coach Drago Mamic of Croatia. The Sky Blues brought in defender Yeasin Khan and Nigerian striker Emeka Darlington from Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club. Both started the game but were unable to gel in the new team formation.
Abahani stumbled at the beginning of the game, conceding an early goal in the 16th minute following a shocking display from a defender. Mohammad Ibrahim put the Maldives outfit ahead, tapping home into an empty net after meeting Hasan Ibrahim's low cross at the edge of the six-yard box. The Sky Blues dominated the rest of the game but failed to get onto the scoresheet.
Abahani will take on Pocheon in their second Group B game on Monday.
South Korean club Pocheon Citizen FC handed five-time Kyrgyzstan League champion FC Alga Bishkek a 2-0 defeat in the inaugural match. Jang Yong IK put the Koreans ahead in the 14th minute before man of the match Ji Kyeong Deuk doubled the lead five minutes later.
Meanwhile, two other clubs from the host nation, Mohammedan Sporting Club and Chittagong Abahani will take to the field today. The Black and Whites will take on Manang Marshyangdi Club at 4pm while reigning champion Chittagong Abahani play Shaheen Asmayee FC at 7pm.
A total of eight clubs from six countries are taking part in the 13-day long tournament.
Abahani 0 TC Sports 1
(Jang 14, Deuk 19) Bishkek 0