Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

India qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup after beating Macau 3-1

India qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup after beating Macau 3-1

However, the hosts conceded in the 37th minute when Nicholas Tarrao scored. "Latching on to a cross from the right flank, the striker beat India custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from close range in the 37th minute to negate Rowling Borges" opener that put the hosts in the lead in the 28th minute.

India stay top of the table in Group A, maintaining a ideal record of four wins from four matches, and with 12 points, only one of Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar - both of whom have four points from three matches - can overtake them on points in their qualification group. India had finished runners-up to Israel in 1964 after which they played in the 1984 tournament held in Singapore.

Macau lost both of its first leg matches against Kyrgyzstan (0-1) and Myanmar (0-4) and is due to play the second legs on November 14 and March 27, 2018, respectively.

Chettri knocked in the second goal as India played in the 4-4-2 formation with Balwant Singh and Jeje up front.

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.

The Indians made their domination count when Narayan Das fired in a low cross from the left wing which was met by a Jeje backheel.

Torrao then stole the ball before it could reach Pritam and and headed it in to draw level.

Arsenal's lovely gesture is bound to be a source of encouragement and motivation for the Indian football team who ended their previous Asian Cup in 2011 ranked rock bottom with no points and a goal difference of -10. Jeje took it in near the halfway line and sent it to Balwant. In the 20th minute, Chhetri was pulled down to the ground just outside the Macau box, and Lao Pak Kin was shown a yellow card for his foul.

India were lucky to have got the third strike through a self goal after Lam Seng's attempted clearance turned into disaster as the ball looped over the goalkeeper and went in.

Macau Head coach Chan Hiu Ming rated the Stephen Constantine-coached side very highly at the pre-match press conference.

"Starting from the players to the supporting staff, it's the result of everyone's dedication and hard work". We're getting the chance again in two years.

India come into this match on a 11-match unbeaten streak and have recorded 1-0 victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic. The goal we conceded was against the run of play.

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