India face Macau with eye on Asian Cup 2019 berth

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Stephen Constantine's men are up against Macau in Group A of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers and we bring you the LIVE updates from the match.

India may have got the result on the night, but their defending on the whole was inconsistent, allowing strikers Tarrao and Carlos Leonel several sights of Sandhu's goal.

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India, ranked 107 in the world, has defeated all of its group's challengers so far in the latest AFC Asian Cup qualifier round; namely Kyrgyzstan (128), Myanmar (157) and now Macau (182 on the Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking). They have sealed qualification in some style in a tricky group, with two matches to spare. Off a build-up down the left, Rowllin Borges after receiving it from Jeje Lalpekhlua preferred to turn and his right-footer hit rival captain Cheang Cheng and went in.


This is the third time India have qualified for the continental showpiece tournament in the past 37 years.

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 friendlies organised before the finals were few in quantity and against teams that could never have prepared them for the opposition ahead - India drew Bahrain, Korea Republic and Australia, who had been playing in the Asian Cup since just the 2007 edition, in their group - and there was growing friction between Houghton and federation officials.

That was not to be the last goal of the match as Jeje , who had an attempt blocked in the 78th minute and missed another in the 87th minute, made amends by converting a pass from Chhetri during an injury time corner to lend an emphatic touch to the scoreline. Narzary moved on to the right wing and Chhetri was deployed on the left wing.


The fourth goal was scored by Jeje Lalpekhlua in added time, following an assist by Chetri. Three minutes later, Balwant Singh put a goal on Jeje's plate but Jeje, a little too eager was caught offside with only the net to find after he rounded off the goalkeeper. We have to get it going and make it count.

India still have two games to go - away to the Kyrgyz Republic and another one at Kanteerava against Myanmar. This is the tournament we play for.

"We achieved our goal tonight to qualify for Asian Cup". We are India, we will put our head down and work even harder, said skipper Sunil Chhetri after the game. This is indeed a quick change in fortunes for the national team which had a disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign losing all but one of their eight games. "We will keep working hard".


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