In the past, the Blue Tigers have had incredible performances. We are all happy that they have qualified for the 2023 Asian Cup and can’t wait to see their performance. In the meantime, we should review some cherishable memories of past successes. The Indian football team has participated in essential matches through the years, showcasing the talented players and their skills. In this post, we share five unique facts about the Blue Tigers that will impress you!
28 games against a single opponent
Pakistan has been a long known rival for India, which has been passed onto football as well. Therefore, India and Pakistan have played 28 times. The first match dates back to 1959 when the two teams met for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. Ever since they got involved in 28 games with a different outcome. In total, India had 15 victories. They only lost three times and had ten draws. In 2018, they met again at the SAFF Championship, resulting in a tie. The fantastic game had only 10 Indian players during the final moments.
The only qualification for FIFA World Cup
Back in 1950, India qualified for the FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil. But, what happened with the qualification? In total, four Asian football teams were qualified at that time. FIFA invited India, the Philippines, Indonesia and Burma. Due to the circumstances, Burma, Indonesia and the Philippines resigned from this critical event. This left India as the only qualified team to join the tournament. However, things quickly changed. The Indian team didn’t get approved for the tournament because they used to play barefoot. This was the only time when the Blue Tigers qualified for the World Cup.
The Summer Olympics back in 1956 were an unforgettable event for India. The tournament held in Australia resulted in a draw against Hungary. However, Hungary soon drew from the game. This left India with quarterfinal qualifications, where they got to play with the host. In the match against Australia, they scored 4-2. The game was cherished because of the famous hat-trick performed by D’souza. Following a match against Yugoslavia, the result was a draw. However, the Indian team ended with 4-1. The next game against Bulgaria resulted in a considerable loss, with 3-0 as the final score. Although India got fourth place, the fight for the finish was an unforgettable memory that will be cherished for years to come. If betting in India were developed as it is today, football enthusiasts would have an exciting and unpredictable experience.
AFC Asian Cup
The AFC Asian Cup back in 1964 gathered four teams for the ultimate battle. The tournament was a pretty short one, starring India, Hong Kong, Israel, and South Korea. During the first game, India won the match against South Korea without any hesitation. The 2-0 win was a legendary one, followed by a big defeat. India clashed with Israel with a loss, as the host scored 2-0. However, the Blue Tigers didn’t stop there. In the match against Hong Kong, they scored an excellent win with 3-1. Inder Singh was a player that stood up with his fantastic performance, scoring two goals in three matches. Therefore, he was the top goal scorer in this tournament. However, it was Israel that took the title. Nevertheless, the Blue Tigers showed an excellent performance and had two wins.
Gold medal at the Asian Games
In 1951, India won a gold medal at the Asian Games, followed by a second one in 1962. These were considered the brilliant years in Indian football history, guided by Syed Abdul Rahim as the head coach.
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