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    India, China to Clash in Football After 21 Years

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    The last time the two neighbors faced each other in a football tournament was 21 years ago in 1997 in the Nehru Cup in Kochi, India. 17 matches were played between the two countries before that in which China beat India 12 times and the remaining matches ended in a draw.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India's senior football team is visiting China later this year for an international friendly match as part of the preparation for the 2019 Asia Cup. The 97th-ranked Indian team will travel to Beijing to play against the 75th ranked Chinese national team during the October 8-16, 2018 FIFA window, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) announced on Friday. 

    The decision was taken after a month-long discussion between the football federations of the two countries.

    "This presents us with an opportunity not just to break the two-decade deadlock, but also to revive the neighborly rivalry," Kushal Das, AIFF General Secretary said while terming the occasion as ‘historic'.

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    India's National coach Stephen Constantine said China would make the best opponent for India to prepare for the Asia Cup.

    "With an eye on the preparation for the Asian Cup, as a coach, I couldn't have asked for anything better than an opponent like China. I am sure the boys will make the best of the opportunity presented to us and look forward to testing ourselves ahead of the AFC competition," Stephen Constantine said.

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    friendly match, preparations, testing, bilateral relations, cooperation, football, India, China
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