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Run, Ashique, run: The Kerala speedster who turned India's premier trickster

If Ashique Kuruniyan's value to the Indian team could be captured in one phase of play, look no further than the first half India played against Thailand at the AFC Asian Cup in January 2019, in Abu Dhabi.

Sunil Chhetri sprinted over to take a throw-in, and as he looked around for support, Ashique, who had started the match in attack in a surprise promotion ahead of Jeje Lalpekhlua, sprinted up to get in line with the central defender marking him. Chhetri released the ball deep into the corner,...

Hong Kong fans turn back on Chinese anthem

Hong Kong fans turn their back and boo while holding up placards during the Chinese anthem
Hong Kong fans turn their back and boo while holding up placards during the Chinese anthem.

Thousands of Hong Kong football fans booed loudly and turned their backs when the Chinese national anthem was played before their World Cup qualifier against Iran on Tuesday, taking the city's months of protests into the sports realm.

The crowd broke out into "Glory to Hong Kong," a song reflecting their campaign for more democratic freedoms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

After the match started, fans chanted "Fight for freedom" and "Revolution of our Times." One person carried a blue...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Philippines, Yemen both qualify for Asian Cup for first time

Philippines beat Tajikistan to advance to the Asian Cup.

Philippines, North Korea and Yemen earned the final three qualification places for next year's Asian Cup on Tuesday.

Philippines beat Tajikistan 2-1 in Manila to secure their spot, a result that also meant Yemen qualified before they even took the pitch against Nepal.

Needing a draw to qualify, Philippines -- managed by former United States international Thomas Dooley -- fell behind in the 64th minute as Ahktam Nazarov converted a penalty.

But Kevin Ingreso equalised with a header 10 minutes later,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN

Malaysia, Singapore fall to record lows in FIFA rankings

Singapore and Malaysia have slipped to new lows in the latest FIFA rankings after both endured a miserable 2017.

Neither side won a fixture last year, as they fell out of contention for a place at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

This performance was reflected in the updated list, which saw both countries drop one more spot to establish new all-time lows.

Singapore now sit in 173rd place, while the Harimau Malaya are two places beneath them at 175.

The rankings stress the scale of the task facing Malaysia's...