Asian Cup slot in pocket, India gear up for Myanmar challenge

Asian Cup slot in pocket, India gear up for Myanmar challenge

Having made the cut, a buoyant Indian side will fancy its chances when it lock horns with Myanmar in the return leg of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers here on Tuesday.

Stephen Constantine's men are on a 12-match unbeaten streak in international football and will be keen to maintain the same when they face Southeast Asian nation at the Pandit  Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

India qualified for the continental showpiece after crushing Macau 4-1, in a qualifier last month, and a point at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda would take them to the top position.

Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan have four points each, while Macau are placed at the bottom of the table without a point.

Myanmar, having lost their home match against India 0-1 in Yangoon, have arrived here three days early to get used to the conditions, and a win tomorrow would keep them in the fray.

Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise knows the importance of the game. "We have come here well prepared and have come three days early to get ourselves adjusted as we need to win. We were unlucky not to win at home after dominating the match, we created lots of scoring chances but our strikers failed to cash on them.

"India's defence is well organised and we need to play to our potential to win tomorrow," said Zeise.

India have done well under Constantine, including ending a 64-year wait against Myanmar by beating them 1-0 at home.

India's captain Sunil Chhetri, who scored the stoppage- time winner in the first-leg game, said the visitors are a compact side and cautioned his players against complacency.

"We were lucky to have come out victors after they dominated us for the major part of the match. Technically, they are a good side and run a lot especially on the flanks with good ball control.

"It is going to be an entertaining contest and there is no room for us to be complacent after having qualified for the Asian Cup 2019.

"We are looking forward after all the good work we have done so far to remain unbeaten," Chhetri said.

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