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India football team to focus on defence

sports Updated: Nov 15, 2010 22:44 IST
HT Correspondent

Guess what, India go into Tuesday's pre-quarter final against football powerhouses Japan in the Asian Games with 3-3 head-to-head record in the competition. And they have never lost by more than one goal.

Reason enough to try and make a good impression here.

This is the first time the teams are meeting in the Asian Games since 1998 when India lost 0-1 in Bangkok. India beat Japan 3-2 in 1954 and 2-0 on way to a gold medal in 1962.

They lost 1-2 in 1966 and 0-1 in the group stages in 1970 but beat them 1-0 in the playoff for the third place. That was India's last medal in Asian Games football.

Ahead of the do-or-die contest, India, who gave defending champions Qatar a fight and whipped Singapore 4-1 to get out of the group for the first time since 1982, had a long training session here on Monday.