Pakistan-Chinese Taipei clash on 25 March in AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers

Chinese Taipei skipper Chen Po-Liang

Lahore, 18 March: Chinese Taipei coach Lo Chih-Tsung will field full strength side to face Pakistan when both the teams will face each other in the fourth AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers (Group-B) on 25 March 2011 at MBJP Stadium, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. It will be third international match between two outfits in as many years. Pakistan’s other matches in the event will be against Turkmenistan (21 march) and India (23 March).

Lo included both the scorers who scored against Pakistan in recent matches of same event. Lo Chih-an was scorer in 2008 edition at Chungshan Soccer Stadium, Taipei on 2 April 2008 when they lost 1-2 to Pakistan while Chang Han was goal getter in 2009 show on 4 April that ended 1-1 at Sugathadasa Stadium, Colombo.

Chinese Taipei enter the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers by beating Laos 6-3 on aggregate in play-off on 10 and 16 February 2011 at Laos National Stadium, Kaohsiung and National Sports Complex, Vientiane. Their six goals were scored by Chang Han 2, Chen Po-liang 2, Lo Chih-an, Lin Cheng-yi and all four will face Pakistan at MBJP Stadia. Chen Po-liang is a Taiwanese midfielder and captain who currently plays for Hong Kong First Division League side TSW Pegasus FC.

Asian Football Confederation (AFC) launched the competition five years ago in efforts to develop the game in the continent’s ’emerging’ football nations. Unlike the AFC Presidents Cup, the AFC Challenge Cup is a competition for national teams. “The emerging countries need time to catch up and close the gap on the more advanced nations in Asia. It is hoped that the new competition will enlarge awareness about football in these countries and accelerate the game’s development there,” said PFF President Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat who got the privilege of getting Chairman AFC Legal Committee post on Thursday at KL’s AFC ExCo Meet.

When Pakistan faced Chinese Taipei in three years ago in second AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers, it was after a lapse of 50 years in international soccer arena when both the teams had faced each other. The first Meet between the two was filed on 25 May 1958 during third Asian Games when Taiwan, representing China, brought off 3-1 win at Tokyo.

The Chinese Taipei national football team is the official name given by FIFA to the national football team of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

FIFA-ranked 171 Pakistan is not far behind all three teams of Group-B in monthly FIFA World Ranking as compared to India (145), Chinese Taipei (147) and Turkmenistan (154).

Tariq Lutfi-coached Pakistan have to ensure that they finished in the top two of Group-B which shall ensure qualification for the eight-team final round. A direct berth into the 16th Asian Cup at Australia 2015 is guaranteed if any of the eight teams who qualify manage to win the AFC Challenge Cup 2012.

Chinese Taipei Team:

Goal keepers: Kuang-Tien Chung, Chih-Hsin Tsai, Po-Cheng Lin

Defenders: Shan-Fu Chen,Yung-Hsien Chang, Cheng-Yi Lin, Yu-Lin Chen, Yi-Wei Chen, Chao-Hsun Yang

Mid fielders: Hsien-Tang Tsai, Che-Yuan chan, Chih-An Lo, Po-Liang Chen ©, Ming-Han Chiang, Kai-Chun Hung, Chi-Chao Liu, Cheng-Tsung Huang, Tzu-Jung Huang, Wu Pai-Ho

Strikers: Han Chang, Chih-En Lo, Chun-Ching Wu, Chen Po-Hao

Coach : Chih-Tsung Lo, Manager : Chun-Lung Wang

Draws of AFC Challenge Cup (Group B) at MBJP Stadium, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

21 March: Pakistan v Turkmenistan (4 PM), India v Chinese Taipei (7.30 PM)

23 March: Pakistan v India (4 PM), Turkmenistan v Chinese Taipei (7.30 PM)

25 March: Turkmenistan v India (4 PM) Pakistan v Chinese Taipei (7.30 PM)(kick-off times are local)