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2008 AFC Challenge Cup

The 2008 AFC Challenge Cup football tournament was hosted by India and played from 30 July – 13 August 2008. India won the final against Tajikistan.[1] India was also the winner of the fair play award and the India captain Bhaichung Bhutia won the most valuable player award.

2006 AFC Challenge Cup
2008 AFC Challenge Cup logo.svg
Tournament details
Host countryIndia
Dates30 July – 13 August
Venue(s)3 (in 2 host cities)
Final positions
Champions India (1st title)
Runners-up Tajikistan
Third place North Korea
Fourth place Myanmar
Tournament statistics
Matches played16
Goals scored41 (2.56 per match)
Attendance15,900 (994 per match)
Top scorer(s)North Korea Pak Song-Chol
(6 goals)
Best player(s)India Bhaichung Bhutia

Chinese Taipei was originally designated the host, but could not guarantee it would meet the AFC's standards for hosting the tournament.[2] Thailand was first chosen as host but withdrew due to lack of time to prepare.[3] The Philippines also was to take over as host with matches to be played in Bacolod in May 2008 but the plan failed to materialized.[4]

The winners of the 2008 and 2010 competitions will qualify directly for the 2011 Asian Cup. This competition is exclusive to members of the emerging nations class of the AFC. However, in the previous edition, Bangladesh and India were invited from the developing nations class - Bangladesh actually hosting the tournament, and India sending their under-20 team. India and Bangladesh have again been invited for the 2008 edition of the tournament, along with North Korea, Myanmar and Turkmenistan who are also a part of the developing nations class.

Laos withdrew from the competition on 2 May 2008.[5] Palestine withdrew from the competition on 14 May 2008.[6]

Due to the poor conditions of the pitch at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, the AFC moved the majority of the matches to another venue. It was decided that ten matches would be played at the Gachibowli Athletic Stadium, and two at the LBS Stadium.[7] Due to incessant rains in Hyderabad in the days leading up to the final, the AFC changed the venue of the final and the third place play-off to the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.[8][9]


Qualification saw the top team from each of the four qualification groups qualify for the tournament proper, bringing the total number of participating teams in the centralized finals to eight. In addition, India (tournament hosts), Korea DPR, Turkmenistan and Myanmar qualified automatically.

Mongolia and Timor-Leste decided not to take part.[10]


Bold Type - qualified teams, Italics - withdrawn teams



The following teams qualified for the final tournament:


Group stageEdit

All times are Indian Standard Time (IST) – UTC+5:30

Key to colours in group tables
Top two placed teams advance to the semi-finals

Tie-breaking criteriaEdit

Where two or more teams end the group stage with the same number of points, their ranking is determined by the following criteria:

  1. points earned in the matches between the teams concerned;
  2. goal difference in the matches between the teams concerned;
  3. number of goals scored in the group matches between the teams concerned;
  4. goal difference in all group matches;
  5. number of goals scored in all group matches;
  6. kicks from the penalty mark (if only two teams are level and they are both on the field of play);
  7. fewer yellow and red cards received in the group matches;
  8. drawing of lots by the organising committee.

Group AEdit

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  India 3 2 1 0 4 2 +2 7
  Tajikistan 3 1 2 0 5 1 +4 5
  Turkmenistan 3 1 1 1 6 2 +4 4
  Afghanistan 3 0 0 3 0 10 −10 0

India  1–0  Afghanistan
Lawrence   90+2' Report[permanent dead link]

Tajikistan  1–1  India
Rabiev   11' Report[permanent dead link] Tuychiev   61' (o.g.)

Afghanistan  0–5  Turkmenistan
Report[permanent dead link] Öwekow   1'41'77'80'
Krendelev   23'

Turkmenistan  1–2  India
Orazmämmedow   84' Report[permanent dead link] Bhutia   54'80'

Afghanistan  0–4  Tajikistan
Report[permanent dead link] Rabiev   14'44'56'
Tukhtasunov   39'

Group BEdit

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
  North Korea 3 3 0 0 5 0 +5 9
  Myanmar 3 2 0 1 6 2 +4 6
    Nepal 3 1 0 2 3 4 −1 3
  Sri Lanka 3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0
North Korea  3–0  Sri Lanka
Peiris   5' (o.g.)
Pak Song-Chol   9'27'
Report[permanent dead link]

Myanmar  3–0    Nepal
Yazar Win Thein   66'
Myo Min Tun   76'
Soe Myat Min   86'
Report[permanent dead link]

Sri Lanka  1–3  Myanmar
Jayasuriya   51' Report[permanent dead link] Soe Myat Min   47'
Yan Paing   70'
Si Thu Win   85'

Nepal    0–1  North Korea
Report[permanent dead link] Pak Song-Chol   39'

Nepal    3–0  Sri Lanka
Sahukhala   14'
J.M. Rai   55'
Anjan   68'
Report[permanent dead link]

Knockout stageEdit

07 August - Hyderabad
13 August - New Delhi
07 August - Hyderabad
  North Korea0
Third place
13 August - New Delhi
  North Korea4


India  1–0  Myanmar
Chhetri   82' Report[permanent dead link]

North Korea  0–1  Tajikistan
Report[permanent dead link] Mukhidinov   39'

Third place play-offEdit

Myanmar  0–4  North Korea
Report[permanent dead link] Pak Song-Chol   10'12'44' (pen.)
Ro Hak-Su   53'
Attendance: 1,000
Referee: Khalid Al-Senan (UAE)


India  4–1  Tajikistan
Chhetri   9'23'75'
Bhutia   18'
Report[permanent dead link] Fatkhuloev   44'


 2008 AFC Challenge Cup Champions 
First title


Fair Play Award Golden Shoe Most Valuable Player
  India   Pak Song-Chol   Bhaichung Bhutia



  1. ^ The Roon Ba News, 17 December 2007 Archived 28 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Thailand replaces Taiwan as 2008 Challenge Cup host
  3. ^ India almost set to host Asian Challenge Cup
  4. ^ Tupas, Cedelf (18 February 2008). "Asian Challenge Cup in Bacolod uncertain". The Visayan Daily Star. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  5. ^ "Laos withdraws from Challenge Cup". Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 2 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Palestine withdraws from Challenge Cup". Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  7. ^ "AFC Challenge Cup Venues Changed". Archived from the original on 28 July 2008. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  8. ^ "New Delhi to host AFC Challenge Cup final on Aug 13". Retrieved 13 August 2008.[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ AFC Challenge Cup final shifted Archived 20 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ AFC Asian Cup 2011 and AFC Challenge Cup 2008: AFC announces seedings and revised qualification process Archived 23 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit