India Qualifies for 2019 Asian Cup After Win Against Macau

India footballer Sunil Chhetri

India footballer Sunil Chhetri

India had last qualified to the AFC Asian Cup in Doha in 2011. It would be a fearless punt to think of any result other than an Indian win, especially keeping India's 2-0 win in Macau on September 5 in mind.

India qualified for the Asian Cup by virtue of winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup at home, with another foreign coach in Bob Houghton guiding them to the finals after an absence of 27 years. The result implies that only one of these two teams would now be able to match or better India's tally of points in the four-team group.

Rowllin Borges, Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored.

Jeje scored India's fourth after being fed by Chhetri in the dying minutes.

In the 28th minute, Narayan Das created some space on the left flank and floated a ball in for Jeje, who then played in Borges.

Even if India lose their remaining two matches, they will still finish among the top two spots in the group which will be enough to book their tickets to the United Arab Emirates for the 2019 edition of Asian football's showpiece event.

Chhetri, as he is wont to do, scored his 55th global goal in the 60th minute and two minutes later, Balwant the feeder could have sealed it but his placement just went wide after an onrushing Man Fai had managed to narrow down the angle.

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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.

India made a switch at half-time, with Balwant Singh replacing Jackichand, and India were then able to put more players into attack. 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 stay ready and will have to be cautious of not being hit on the counter. However, before the Indian skipper could capitalise with the ball at his feet in the box, Macau goalkeeper Ho Fai smothered it.

India come into this match on a 11-match unbeaten streak and have recorded 1-0 victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic. This is the tournament we play for.

The men in blue sit at the top of their group with 12 points, having scored eight goals and conceding only one.

Asia Cup is scheduled to take place in 2019 and India have 2 long years at their bay to prepare for the elite competition which will feature the best of Asian sides.

"We are going through a good run but we can't afford to take tomorrow's game lightly". It's just the starting of the hard work.

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