Bengaluru, October 12: Indian football team on Wednesday registered a commanding win over Macau by 4-1 in AFC Asian Cup qualifying match at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. India after winning this match has also qualified for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup which is going to be held in the UAE.
Indian team scored four goals in the match against Macau to seal their qualification spot with two matches still to go in the campaign. Rowllin Borges, Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored for the Indians while Macau struck only one goal though Nicholas Tarrao.
Rowllin Borges opened the scoring with a fine volley in the 28th minute, skipper Sunil Chhetri restored the lead, after the hosts conceded one, with a strike in the 60th minute, while Macau conceded an own goal through defender Lam Seng in the 70th minute to dig their own grave at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. The fourth goal was scored by Jeje Lalpekhlua (90+2) after being assisted by Chhetri.
For Macau, Nicholas Tarrao scored in the 37th minute their first and last goal of the qualifying campaign. India has ensured qualification with two more matches left. India is at the top position in Group A with 12 points from four matches and will play Myanmar on November 24 this year and Kyrgyzstan on March 27 next year.
Coach of Indian Football team, Stephen Constantine said, “Yes, we have achieved our target but the job is far from being done. We want to finish first in the group. Let’s have a good sleep tonight. But we can’t afford to sit and celebrate for long. We have to back to the business pretty soon as we’re playing Myanmar shortly.”
“We achieved our goal tonight to qualify for Asian Cup. I’m immensely proud of my team. They have followed my manners, my demands. They’ve gone through anything and everything like the tough training regime, rigorous pressure and at the end of the day, they have delivered,” the Coach added.
“If not the best, this Indian team is surely one of the best Indian Teams in history and the credit goes to all. Starting from the players to the supporting stuff, it’s the result of everyone’s dedication and hard work. It’s an honour of the entire country but only the team. Right from the clubs, coaches everyone has played their part to see this success. Surely the ride hasn’t been a merrier one, but finally, we have achieved this.”
Interestingly, this is the third time India qualified for the continental tournament in the past 37 years. The last time India played in the tournament was in 2011 while their only appearance before that was way back in 1984. In the 2011 edition that was held in Doha, India had a disappointing campaign, losing all their group matches -- to Australia, South Korea and Bahrain.