Pakistan to face India in AFC Cup

LAHORE - It will be Tariq Lutfi vs Bob Houghton as coaches when the 23rd international soccer encounter between Pakistan and India will be recorded in the fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifier on March 23 at Kuala Lumpur. Pakistan are clubbed in Group B and they will take on Turkmenistan on March 21 before locking horns with India, followed by Chinese Taipei on March 25. Bob included Secundrabad-born Sunil Chhetri who visited Pakistan during 9th SA Games 2004 and scored his first international goal against Pakistan on 12 June 2005 at Ayub Stadium, Quetta. Having scored twice in 15th Asian Cup at Qatar last January, he received much media attention after scoring a hat-trick in the final of the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup, which led to an unsuccessful trial at English club Coventry City and speculation linking him with many European and North American clubs. India is said to have been interested to host the Group B, but due to Pakistan being in the same group the continental body played it safe and is hosting it in the country that it is based in - Malaysia. Group A will be hosted in Yangon by Myanmar with host, Bangladesh, Palestine and Philippines Group C will be hosted by Maldives in Male. Teams are: Maldives, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Cambodia while in Group D: Kathmandu, Nepal with host, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and the winners of the pre-qualification match between Bhutan and Afghanistan. Two teams from each group qualify for the eight team finals.

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