It was the 1966 Asia Cup where India saw the power of the young guns and realised the potential of their players even when they didn’t really have the experience of the international circuit. India lifted the 1966 Asia Cup in Bangkok.
A tournament that was divided into two groups consisted of eight teams with India being drafted in the tough group comprising of 1962 Asiad bronze medalists, Malaysia, South Korea and Ceylon (Sri Lanka now). Pakistan qualified for the finals convincingly beating Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan and were favourites to win the gold medal.
India, on the other hand, were ready to lock horns in the final as they thumped Malaysia, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The final had to gather all the hype as it was being played between the two arch rivals, India and Pakistan. Those were the days when the two neighbouring countries clashed in only International tournaments, and the Indians were looking to repeat their 1964 Olympics win.
India played the major part of the match with 10-men as there were no substitutions allowed. Balbir Singh joined the team in the second half and became one of the most sought after players from there on. Balbir scored the winning goal for India. India won the Asia Cup 1966 and the win became more special as it was Pakistan that was beaten in the finale by a young, inexperienced team.