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Church: Five 2016 wishes for China

 By John Duerden

Asian football can take heart from European Championship expansion

Before Euro 2016, Asian football fans were, like everyone else, looking forward to watching the likes of Italy, England, Spain, Germany and Portugal. After all, such sides and their stars are familiar.

Teams such as Iceland, Hungary, Wales, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Republic of Ireland were little-known in the East. But they have since become noticed and feted. 

The celebrations that greeted these six nations -- four of them debuting at the tournament -- sealing spots in the round of 16...

Bengaluru FC make history by reaching quarterfinals of AFC Cup

Balestier vs. Kitchee
Kitchee FC were stunned at home as Bengaluru FC held on for a famous win

Bengaluru FC carved history for themselves by marching into the quarterfinals of the AFC Cup for the first ever time, beating Kitchee SC 3-2 in a pulsating game at the Mong Kok Stadium in Hong Kong. Bengaluru, who are only the fourth team from India to ever reach the quarters, will now play Hong Kong's South China across two legs, on September 13 and September 20. 

Two goals from the captain Sunil Chhetri,  and a winner from Daniel Lalhlimpuia sent the Ashley Westwood-coached team through...

Dempo beat Minerva to seal I-League berth

The Dempo players celebrate with the second division trophy
The Dempo players celebrate with the second division trophy

Dempo Sports Club sealed their place in next season's I-League, after pipping Minerva Academy FC to the second division title. Goals from Milagres Gonsalves and Felix Chidi gave Dempo a 3-1 win, with victory ensuring Dempo topped the division with 23 points; Minerva finished second, with 18. 

Dempo, who needed just a point to qualify, went ahead after nine minutes, as Gonsalves headed in following a long ball from Mandar Rao Desai. Chidi doubled the lead four minutes later with...