The Indian national team will play an international friendly against China on October 13 as a part of its preparation for the the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The fixture will be held in the scheduled FIFA October window at the Suzhou Olympic Sports Centre Stadium at Suzhou City, Jiangsu province. This is the first time ever than an Indian senior national team will be travelling to China. The two nations have till now faced 17 times, all on Indian soil -- the last being 21 years ago for the Nehru Cup in Kochi in 1997.
For the record, India is yet to win a match against China. Off the past 17 matches, 12 have gone in favour of China while rest 5 were drawn.
However, the Indian national team has been on an upsurge over the last couple of years, maintaining an unbeaten run of 12 official matches for a span which extended from June 2016 to November 2017.
Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation said that AIFF is looking forward to a “long bilateral footballing relationship with China.”
“Globally India and China are now being looked up to as two of the fastest emerging Football markets. The match will usher in a new era in Asian Football as this is the first-time ever that the Indian national team will be travelling to play in China. We look forward to a long term bilateral footballing relationship with China in near future,” he said.
“Playing against China in China is a perfect way to gear up for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019. China are a supremely talented side and it will provide us an opportunity to further gauge ourselves where we stand prior to the Continental Championships.”
India is currently ranked 97 in the September FIFA Rankings while China is at 76.
The October international friendly assumes huge importance as it will set the pace for India’s preparatory process for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup (January 2019) in UAE.
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