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Highlights, India vs China, football friendly: Blue Tigers manage to hold hosts to an fighting draw

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Highlights, India vs China, football friendly: Blue Tigers manage to hold hosts to an fighting draw
  • 19:13 (IST)

    That's it from us as the friendly between India and China has ended in a goalless draw! India gave a good measure of themselves. The brightest spark for the country was goalkeeper Gurpreet Sigh Sandhu, who made innumerable saves. 

    Until next time, good bye.

  • 19:00 (IST)

    CHINA 0-0 INDIA

    Full-time! India hold China, who are 21 ranks above the Blue Tigers in the FIFA standings. This is a heartening draw for India ahead of the AFC Asian Cup.

  • 18:58 (IST)

    93rd MINUTE: Chance missed

    Farukh Choudhary has a chance! He's crowded by two defenders, but he is allowed to have a shot! His shot, unfortunately, is straight at the 'keeper. 

  • 18:53 (IST)

    90TH MINUTE: Still goalless

    Five minutes added on in this match. 

  • 18:46 (IST)

    77TH MINUTE: Triple saves from Gurpreet

    A mad scramble takes place at the Indian goalmouth as Yu Hai tries to score. The Indian keeper Gurpreet though saves at least THRICE on the goalline! The ball is scrambled away. India escape. Barely!

  • 18:45 (IST)

    75TH MINUTE: Heroic save from Gurpreet

    Gurpreet dived to the left to tip over a ball looping into the top corner of his goal!

  • 18:30 (IST)

    Here's that Sandesh Jhingan clearance from early on in the match

  • 18:25 (IST)

    62TH MINUTE: India make replacements

    Narayan Das gets replaced by Anas Edathodika while Nikhil Poojary has come in place of Udanta Singh.

  • 18:14 (IST)

    50TH MINUTE: China rattle the woodwork

    China's Gao Lin got he ball in the Indian box, and with no defender closing in shot straight into the crossbar! What an escape for India! 

  • 18:09 (IST)

    SECOND HALF BEGINS: CHINA 0-0 INDIA 

    They held strong for the first half, but the second half will be even more testing for the Blue Tigers.  

  • 17:52 (IST)

    HALF-TIME: CHINA 0-0 INDIA 

    India have had to defend for wide patches of this match. But they have had a couple of chances, the closest being Pritam Kotal's shot which was parried away by the Chinese goalkeeper. Even a draw would be a massive boost for the Blue Tigers.

  • 17:50 (IST)

    43rd MINUTE: Another chance for India

    The ball goes wide very close to the Chinese box and Sunil Chhetri immediately throws it in for Jeje, who shoots but it trickles wide. Still goalless.

  • 17:35 (IST)

    30th MINUTE: Still goalless

    One third of this match is now done. China have probed a few times in this match, but Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has done his job well. India have come close once too, with Pritam Kotal's shot parried away by the Chinese goalkeeper. Still a lot of life left in this match. 

  • 17:24 (IST)

    17th MINUTE: Sunil Chhetri fires over

    Anirudh Thapa curls in a beautiful free-kick and Sunil Chhetri manages to get to the end of the ball. But he turns the ball just over the cross bar. 

  • 17:22 (IST)

    12th MINUTE: India come close 

    Pritam Kotal's shot at the goal is parried away by the Chinese goalkeeper Yan Junling. India are finally starting to foray into the opposition half. These are promising signs.

  • 17:18 (IST)

    Finally, India show attacking verve

    After almost eight minutes of defending with their backs to the wall, India get a chance to break, but Udanta cannot do much of it on the right flank. China come right back with two shots — the first time when the ball trickled just wide of the post, and the second, when Wu Xi's shot curled over. 

  • 17:10 (IST)

    Solid keeping from Gurpreet 

    So far this is a match which has been played completely in India's half. China earn a corner after Anirudh Thapa blocks a shot. But the consequent corner kick — a looping and high kick — is punched out by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, before the Indian defence scrambles it away.  

  • 17:07 (IST)

    AND WE'RE OFF!

    India start the match with a couple of errors, giving the ball away. But as we enter the second minute of the match, there's no harm done. 

  • 17:05 (IST)

    Can India tame the Dragon

    21 ranks separate India and China. Expectedly, India will start as the underdogs in this match, but Stephen Constantine's men will get a massive boost in the arm for the AFC Asian Cup should they spring a surprise and beat the hosts.

  • 17:01 (IST)

    And here is the Indian starting XI:

  • 16:52 (IST)

    Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the friendly football match between China and India. The Indian team is playing an international match for the first time in China though their senior sides have faced each other 17 times in the past. India has not won a single match out of the 17 while China has come out trumps 12 on occasions.

    Stay tuned for more updates.

Preview: Billion-plus populations but laggards in a truly global sport – India and China will go head to head in a football friendly for the first time in 21 years on Saturday with the home team a firm favourite despite poor recent form.

The Indian team is playing an international match for the first time in China though their senior sides have faced each other 17 times in the past. China have played in India seven times, all of them in the invitational tournament Nehru Cup.

India has not won a single match out of the 17 while China has come out trumps 12 on occasions.

Five matches have ended in draws. The senior teams of India and China last played in the 1997 Nehru Cup in Kochi which the 'Red Dragons' won 2-1.

Saturday's match at Suzhou, around 100 km from Shanghai, has attracted a lot of interest among the football fans and the media in the backdrop of the competition between the two countries in several spheres as well as the fact that they are playing a football match for the first time after 1997.

Neighbours India and China account for one-third of the world's population and they are the fastest growing and competing economies in the world but they have remained "sleeping giants" with nothing much to show at the world stage.

This is more true for India as the country has not featured in a single FIFA World Cup while China has done so once – in 2002 when they exited from the group stages after losing all their three matches.

Despite being a lesser force on the global stage, China, nonetheless, is one of the established football countries in Asia. The 'Red Dragons' have been consistently among the top-10 in Asia and in the top-100 in the world.

The country is now 76th in FIFA rankings and seventh in Asia.

China has played 11 times in the Asian Cup, the continent's top-flight competition and has finished runners-up twice and third as many times.

India, on the other hand, has played only thrice in the Asian Cup (1964 runners-up; 1984 and 2011) and recently broke into the top 100 in the FIFA rankings after a long time. The country is now 97th in FIFA rankings and 15th in Asia.

It is a bold move on India's part to play against China as they have not played in the recent past against a top side in the continent except in the Asian Cup or the World Cup qualifiers and it is also fraught with consequences.

The match, being played by both sides in the FIFA international friendly window as part of preparations for the AFC Asian Cup in January next month, will test India's 'real' progress and its stake as a country hoping to be among the Asian elite.

"We are fully aware that China are a big side in the region. They will be a very difficult side. They want to play possession football, attacking football," said coach Stephen Constantine

"We will go all out for a win. But if we lose, we will try to find out the positive aspects."

Sunil Chhetri wondered just what took so long for the two countries to play each other.

"We should not afford them much space. At the same time, whenever we find a little room of opportunity, we have to construct the moves and counter them," said Chhetri.

China are the favourites to win tomorrow's match but the home side would know that it cannot be complacent as it has been struggling of late after a 0-1 loss to an inexperienced Qatar last month and then a 0-0 stalemate with Bahrain.

The home team's 2006 World Cup winning Italian coach Marcello Lippi cannot afford to anything other than a win on Saturday with less than three months left for the Asian Cup, which will be his last tournament with the Chinese national side.

With inputs from PTI


Updated Date: Oct 13, 2018 19:13 PM

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