India at AFC Asian Cup: The Blue Tigers over the years

The 2023 edition will be the team’s fifth appearance after 1964, 1968, 2011, and 2019

Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR / The Hindu

Head coach Igor Stimac’s chances of replicating the high of Harry Wright’s team finishing runners-up in the 1964 edition look bleak

Ranked 102, the national team has its task cut out in the group stage against higher ranked nations- Australia(25), Uzbekistan(68), and Syria(91)

1964- Runners Up

Despite a gold medal at the 1962 Asian games, the team’s chances were undermined at the very first appearance in the quadrennial cup, only a four-team-event

However, the team defied all odds to reach the final before losing to eventual winner Israel 2-0

1984: Group stage knockout

The team’s second appearance was one to forget as it finished with one draw and 3 losses, crashing out in the group stage

Photo Credit: Atanu Bhattacharya/The Hindu

2011: Group stage knockout

The story did not change after 27 years and for the first time in the team’s Asian Cup history, three losses meant it went back home without scoring a point

2019: Group stage knockout

The team started its 2019 campaign on a positive note, beating Thailand 4-1

However, the good start failed to translate into progress as the team once again said goodbye after the group stage, ending with two losses and a win