India look to confirm Asian Cup spot today
While the whole country’s football fraternity has got themselves busy with the ongoing U-17 World Cup, the senior Indian national team gets ready to take on Macau for Asian cup spot.
Currently topping the group, India’s road to 2019 Asian Cup seems to be a smooth one after three back to back wins. A win against Macau today will confirm India’s spot in Asian Cup after a gap of 8 years and only the second time in the last four decades. After Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar drew on Tuesday, India are already five points clear at the summit of Group A and a win is enough to guarantee them a top-two spot sealing their automatic entry to the 2019 continental extravaganza.
The Indian team’s defence has been rock solid in this tournament having been held opponent’s strikers without goals in all three games so far. The pairing of Anas and Sandesh Jhingan in front of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has been strong so far, keeping four clean sheets in the five games played together this year. At the other end, Led by our charismatic captain Sunil Chhetri, India’s strike force has managed to deliver in the crucial moments. Balwant Singh and Jeje lalpekhlua have been able counter-parts at the top with the former netting a brace in India’s previous encounter against Macau.
With no major injury concerns and a almost a full-strength squad available, Stephen Constantine will look to line up in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Chhetri operating behind Jeje Lalpekhlua or Balwant Singh while Sandesh Jhingan and Anas Edathodika marshal the defence. At the other end, Macau will look forward to playing a defensive line with a point from the game being a great achievement. “We have worked on our strategies. Yes, we struggled there. We had to work hard to penetrate them. In no way, we can take them lightly. We did work on our mistakes and I hope we’ll implement them on the pitch tomorrow,” Captain Sunil Chhetri said ahead of the game.
With the football picking up steam in the country in recent years, India playing in Asian Cup in 2019 will be a huge boost to the country’s already growing football fan base
Kickoff: 7:30pm IST