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India vs Kyrgyzstan AFC Asian Cup qualifier: Looking back at the past encounters

06:53 IST 11/06/2017
Anton Zemlianukhin Kyrgyzstan AFC World Cup qualifying 110615
With the Blue Tigers set to take on the central Asian country, Goal looks at what had transpired in the previous encounters between these two teams.

India doesn't have a long-standing football rivalry with Kyrgyzstan, which is somewhat obvious given that the latter attained sovereignty only after the dissolution of Soviet Union in 1991.

The central Asian nation, however, was a regular feature of the Nehru Cup in the later half of last decade, and had faced off against India twice with the Blue Tigers earning the bragging rights on both ocassions.

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On August 26th, 2007, India defeated them 3-0 in a group league match, coming on the back of a disapppointing 3-2 loss against Syria, which had put their qualiciation hopes for the final in doldrums. However, goals from three strikers Bhaichung Bhutia, Sunil Chhetri and Abhishek Yadav were enough to see off the opponents, earning Bob Houghton's men a place in the final, which they won via a solitary goal from NP Pradeep.

A couple of years later, Bhaichung and Sunil were on target once again as India defeated the White Falcons 2-1 in New Delhi. This edition of Nehru Cup is mostly remembered for Subrata Paul's heroics in the final, as India defeated Syria in penalty shoot-out.

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The two teams then locked horns at the AFC Challenge Cup in Colombo on 12th February, 2010 and this was the first instance where Sunil Chhetri and co. were trumped by the Kyrgyzs. Idar Amirov - who had brief stint with East Bengal last year - and Zemlianahim scored while Denzil Franco pulled one back for India. 

So, India have won two of three matches against their next opponents, but it's safe to conclude that none of those matches had the kind of significance that the upcoming AFC Cup qualifier on Tuesday bears.