India thrash Macau to qualify for 2019 Asian Cup

13 October, 2017, 01:29 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • We will have to be cautious of not being hit on the counter Stephen Constantine
PIC Courtesy AIFF

This will be only the fourth Asian Cup for India who were the runners-up during the third edition of the competition at Israel.

India qualified for the 2019 Asian Cup after thrashing Macau 4-1 in their qualifier at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday evening. He still plays for them in their AFC Cup matches as their captain. In 1984 and 2011, they crashed out in the group stage.

The fourth goal was scored by Jeje Lalpekhlua (90+2) after being assisted by Chhetri.

The two national teams were tied 1-1 at half-time - a strong start for the local underdogs - after goals by India's Rowllin Borges and Macau's Nicholas Torrão. "Latching on to a cross from the right flank, the striker beat India custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from close range in the 37th minute to negate Rowling Borges" opener that put the hosts in the lead in the 28th minute.

India play their next qualifier at home against Myanmar on November 14, before rounding off their qualification campaign against Kyrgyzstan away on March 27.

The Indians have been in impressive form, winning all the four group matches they have played so far to ensure qualification in style.

For his goal, Borges fooled the Macanese goalkeeper after he received a pass from Jeje, who had the presence of mind to spot him. Replying to a query, Constantine said Balwant Singh was a good foil for Chhetri who scored the goal in second half with his help. We played Bahrain, South Korea and Australia there. Before Jeje could set it up, Narayan Das whipped in a low cross on the left. A ball from the right found its way to Tarrao, who was able to squeeze in between the Indian centre-backs Anas Edathodika and Sandesh Jhingan to bring up his country's first goal in qualification, as also the first conceded by the hosts. We have to get it going and make it count. Starting from the players to the supporting stuff, it's the result of everyone's dedication and hard work.

Macau Head coach Chan Hiu Ming rated the Stephen Constantine-coached side very highly at the pre-match press conference.

India come into this match on a 11-match unbeaten streak and have recorded 1-0 victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic. It was cat and mouse from then on but India's lack of finishing denied them more goals to showcase their superiority.

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