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India take on Afghanistan tomorrow in opening tie

Hyderabad, Jul 29 (UNI) A confident India will take on surprise qualifier Afghanistan as they start their campaign in Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup here tomorrow.

The tournament assumes significance as the title winner will qualify for the 2011 Asia Cup.

India are place in group A, which besides Afghanistan also include defending champion Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Group 'B' comprises of North Korea, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Talking to mediapersons here this afternoon, Indian coach Bob Houghton exuded confidence in his team and said that his boys will rise to the occasion.

The coach was hopeful that his side will start the campaign with an impressive win against Afghanistan, which is the lowest ranked team in the tournament.

The hosts will then play defending champions Tajikistan on August 1 and then they will play Turkmenistan in their last group match on August 3.

However, if the hosts qualify for the knockout stage, they will have a two-day break before the semi-finals slated for August 7.

The final is on Aug 10.

UNI XR/BR RKM KP2101

Story first published: Tuesday, July 29, 2008, 21:34 [IST]
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