Country: Chinese Taipei
FIFA Ranking: 121
Last official match played: Chinese Taipei 1-0 Singapore (March 27, 2018)
Coach: Gary White
Formerly known as Taiwan and subsequently the Republic of China, Chinese Taipei were once a formidable football force in Asia. The team were the gold medalists in the 1954 and 1958 Asian Games while also reaching the semi-finals of the AFC Asian Cup in 1960 and 1968.
The 1968 Asian Cup was the last major tournament that the Chinese Taipei qualified for with the side being forced to play in the Oceania Football Confederation between 1975 and 1989 owing to a political conflict with the People’s Republic of China. Apart from the AFC currently, the country is also a member of the East Asia Football Federation which was founded in 2002.
The football team was in terminal decline over the years with the FIFA ranking plummeting to as low as 213 in March 2015. It is only recently that the Chinese Taipei have been able to mount a mini-resurgence.
|Lessons from the past|
|HEAD-TO-HEAD||PLAYED||INDIA WINS||DRAWS||CHINESE TAIPEI WINS||GOALS BY INDIA||GOALS BY CHINESE TAIPEI||GOAL DIFFERENCE [INDIA]|
|India v Chinese Taipei||4||3||1||0||10||3||+7|
India and Chinese Taipei have met four times previously in their combined football histories with the last of those meetings coming during AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in March 2013.
In that game in Myanmar, Jewel Raja had put India ahead in the first-half before Chinese Taipei equalized in the 51st minute. An injury-time winner from striker Robin Singh had handed India all three points on the day.
Before that, the two sides had met in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup qualifier where India had ran out winners by 3-0 with goals from Jeje Lalpekhua, Sunil Chhetri and Jewel Raja. In the remaining two meetings, India won one by 3-0 and were held to a 2-2 draw in the other.
Englishman Gary White took over the reins of the side in September last year, mid-way through the team’s qualification campaign for the 2019 Asian Cup. White’s appointment has transformed the fortunes of the Chinese Taipei side when it comes to FIFA rankings and results.
White has history with India, for he was the coach of the Guam side which famously beat the Blue Tigers by 2-1 in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Under White, Chinese Taipei mounted a strong end to their Asian Cup qualifying campaign with wins against the likes of Bahrain and Mongolia. Just a month before White’s arrival, Bahrain had thrashed Chinese Taipei 5-0 in the reverse leg. In the end, it was too little too late for their qualifying hopes but the impact of the Englishman on the side has been immense.
The team has reached its highest-ever FIFA ranking of 121 and White intends to break into the top-100 soon. The side is also currently enjoying a great run with five victories in their last six official matches. This run has included victories over Singapore, Laos, Timor-Leste, Philippines and Bahrain.
|Players To Watch Out For|
Will Donkin: Crystal Palace teenager Will Donkin will be the most recognizable name in the Chinese Taipei squad which will grace the competition. Born to an English father, Donkin was scouted by Barnet’s academy before he was snapped up by Chelsea as an 11-year-old. After six years with Chelsea, the 17-year-old signed for Crystal Palace last year. An attacking midfielder by trade, Donkin has already made five senior appearances for Chinese Taipei.
GOALKEEPERS: Pan Wen Chieh, Tsai Shao Che, Chiu Yu-Hung
DEFENDERS: Chen Hung Wei, Chen Ting-Yang, Hung Tzi Kuei, Chen Wei Chuan, Cheng Hao, Tu Shao Chieh
MIDFIELDERS: Wang Ruei, Wu Yen Shu, Chao Ming Hsiu, Donkin Will, Lin Chang Lun, Chen Chao An, Chen Yi Wei, Chen Sheng Wei, Chu En Lee, Wang Chien Ming
FORWARDS: Chen Ching Hsuan, Li Mao, Chen Hao Wei, Wei Mao Ting