The Blue Tigers will play a friendly against Belarus on March 26.

When it comes to international or even club football, the comparison between Asian and European countries is a vague one. One can not certainly compare two different continents in this particular sport. On one hand, there is Europe, which has reached the zenith and stagnated its position at the same in the past decades. On the other hand, we have Asia, where a few countries are fighting their hearts out to compete with teams ranked far above them..

India will be playing a friendly against European team Belarus on 26 March. In recent times, we haven’t witnessed India play a lot against European teams. However, a few decades back, India had actually played well against the same. A notable fight that one can recall is the 1-2 loss against Hungary in the 1960 Olympics (Rome), which saw the likes of Tulsidas Balaram, Late Chuni Goswami and Late PK Banerjee keeping the Hungarian defensive third busy throughout the fixture.

Here in this article, we bring forward to you a list of five matches where Asian teams played against European countries. The list surely has stances where India did the same and fought out an impressive result, but it’s not the one previously mentioned. Let’s look at the matches below.

5. Iceland vs South Korea (2022)

Iceland vs South Korea
South Korea thrashed Iceland 5-1 (Courtesy: CBS Sports)

This is one of the recent encounters between the two continents. Both teams had a fair trade in the FIFA World Cup (2018). On 15 January, 2022, Iceland and South Korea locked horns in a friendly match. South Korea were ranked 29 while Iceland were placed 60th. The game was played at the Mardan Sports Complex, a multi-purpose stadium in Turkey.

The match ended 5-1 in favour of South Korea. The goals for the winning team came from five different players – Gue-sung Cho, Chang-Hoon Kwon, Seung-Ho Paik, Jin-kyu Kim and Ji-seong Um. The solitary consolation for Iceland came from the like of Sveinn Aron Gudjohnsen.

4. India vs Finland (1993)

I.M. Vijayan
Vijayan won the Player of the Tournament in the 1993 Nehru Cup (Courtesy: Indiatimes.com)

This was a Group B clash in the 1993 Nehru Cup, which was held in Madras (current day Chennai). The matches of the competition were played at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, respectively. Though India couldn’t salvage a win in the entire tournament, they earned three points from three draws. One such tie for India came against European team Finland on January 20, 1993.

The match ended 0-0. Neither of these two teams went on to win the trophy. North Korea defeated Romania B in the finals to conjure victory. India, on the other hand won the Fair Play Trophy along with forward IM Vijayan winning the Man of the Tournament award.

3. South Korea vs Germany (2018)

Germany vs South Korea
South Korea knocked Germany out of the 2014 FIFA World Cup (Courtesy: TOI Twitter)

2018 wasn’t the year for Germany, was it? The champions of the previous edition of the FIFA World Cup failed miserably and couldn’t secure a place in the knockout stages. This was the third match of Group F and was played on June 27, 2018.

Statistics doesn’t show everything about a match. This match was no exception as well. Everything – be it shots, possession or the number of passes, were in Germany’s favour. Germany lost it in injury-time when Kim Young-Gwon and Son Heung-Min netted two goals in the 92nd and 96th minute respectively. The then World Champions were left shattered as they ended their ride at the bottom of the group.

2. Denmark vs Japan (2010)

Japan vs Denmark
Japan beat Denmark in the 2010 FIFA World Cup (Courtesy: TOI)

Another FIFA World Cup fixture on the cards, as Japan turned out heavy on Denmark in the last Group E encounter in 2010. The match ended 3-1 in favour of Japan and helped them to successfully qualify for the Round of 16.

The goals for Japan came in the form of two free-kicks from Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo in the 17th and 30th minute. Denmark tried their chance of a comeback in the 81st minute when Jon Dahl Tomasson brought one back for them. However, Shinji Okazaki added the final nail in the coffin in the 87th minute.

1. India vs France (1960)

India European Teams
India faced France at the 1960 Rome Olympics (Courtesy: TNT-TheNorthEast Today)

For the final stance in the list, let’s head back to the 1960 Rome Olympics. The group consisted of heavy-weights such as Peru, and European teams Hungary and France, apart from India.

The fixture between India and France ended 1-1. Late Pradip Kumar Banerjee gave India the lead in the 71st minute. The lead lasted only 11 minutes as in the 82nd minute Gerard Coincon bagged the equalizer for France. Unfortunately, with just a point in their bag, India ended their campaign at the bottom of the group.

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