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AFP
October 14, 2018

China, India scoreless in friendly match

Sports

AFP
October 14, 2018

BEIJING: In a scoreless 90-minute match India ran its Asian rival China to a draw in a Saturday night friendly football match, sparking outrage among China’s legions of football-obsessed fans.

The Chinese national team’s struggles were laid bare as it missed chance after chance to take the game, falling short of expectations for a big win at home.

It is a setback for China’s unbridled footballing ambitions — President Xi Jinping is a big fan of the sport and has vowed to make the country a football superpower.

It is not the same story in cricket-mad India, where football is far from the most popular sport.

The game in Suzhou, near Shanghai, was the first match between the two Asian giants’ senior sides in 21 years. India had not beaten China in its last 17 attempts.

Although China controlled the pitch Saturday, its top 11 players were unable to put away a goal.

“This match shows there are still a lot of issues to sort out,” China’s state television announcer said at the close.

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