Printer Friendly and PDF

Macau: Stephen Constantine has set his sights on securing India’s place at the Finals of the AFC Asian Cup in 2019 next month when his team face Macau in the teams’ return clash after seeing his team pick up a 2-0 win against them on Tuesday evening.

Balwant Singh scored twice as India maintained their perfect start to qualifying in Group A and, with nine points from their first three games, a win on October 10 against Macau will take India back to the continental championship.

“We need another three points (to qualify), we play Macau at home and I would expect us to take three points there,” said the English coach.

“It will be tough as well because they sat back with an eight, nine man defence which, you know, I expected them to do. But, they did well. 

“I think, we are not used to having to unlock the door like that and this was where we had a few issues.”

India struggled to find their way past the home defence and it took Balwant until the 57th minute to open the scoring. The Mumbai City forward added his side’s second eight minutes from time as India continued their impressive form under Constantine.

“Balwant scored two goals,” said the coach. “He did what he was asked to do. He could have scored four, but I will take two.

“This was our fourth away win in a row.”

Goals from India captain Sunil Chhetri had given Constantine’s team victory in their games against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic and, while the veteran striker was not on target on Tuesday, the coach is confident his talisman will continue to be a factor for his team in the lead-up to the finals.

“Chhetri will be here as long as he has to be,” said Constantine.

India lead Group A by six points from Myanmar, whose game against Kyrgyz Republic in Bishkek was postponed due to security concerns. Myanmar hold on to second place by virtue of a better goal difference over the Kyrgyz side, with both teams having previously defeated Macau.

Photos: Macau Football Association 

randomness