Challenge Cup 2012 Special: How did India perform in the last three editions wind back the clock to the very beginning of the competition to check out the Indian national team's track record...
The Indian national team arrived at Kathmandu, Nepal, on Sunday evening to compete in the Challenge Cup 2012.

Savio Medeira's men are placed in Group B which includes the likes of Korea DPR, Philippines and Tajikistan. looks back into the three editions of the competition and presents as to how did the Blue Tigers fare in each of them.

Year: 2006 | Venue: Bangladesh

It was in August 2005 when the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) decided to give birth to the Challenge Cup in the following year with the sole objective to develop the standard of football played in Asia.

India, together with host nation Bangladesh, were not in the fray until the exclusion of Laos, Mongolia and Timor-Leste into the inaugural edition of the competition, reducing the number of participating teams to sixteen.

Placed in Group A alongside Chinese Taipei, Philippines and Afghanistan, India managed to pick a 2-0 win over Afghanistan and two draws against Philippines and Chinese Taipei to top the group. They bowed out in the quarter-finals when they lost 0-3 to Nepal. It must be noted that India had sent their U-20 side into the competetion.

Winners: Tajikistan | Runners-up: Sri Lanka
Year: 2008 | Venue: India

Once again Laos pulled out of the competetion and Palestine followed suit around two months prior to the kick-off.

India topped Group A which consisted of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan losing two points only against the defending champions in the process. They went on to beat Myanmar in the semi-finals following which the final was shifted to Delhi as the pitch at Hyderabad wasn't deemed fit.

13 August 2008 was marked as a historical day for Indian football as the Men In Blue booked a berth in the 2011 Asian Cup by beating Tajikistan 4-1 in the final. Sunil Chhetri was the star of the day as he bagged a treble, while Bhaichung Bhutia scored one of the four goals on the evening.

Winners: India | Runners-up: Tajikistan
Year: 2010 | Venue: Sri Lanka

Entering as the defending champions, the Men in Blue were handed an automatic qualification and it was decided by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to field an U-23 team as the seniors prepared for the 2011 Asian Cup.

The India U-23 team were also preparing for the 2010 Asian Games but were left only to learn from their defeats as they languished at the bottom of Group B after suffering defeats at the hands of DPR Korea, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.

Winners: North Korea | Runners-up: Turkmenistan

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