India rout Macau, qualify for Asian Cup

India rout Macau, qualify for Asian Cup

Rowllin Borges, Sunil Chhetri, Sandesh Jhingan and an own-goal from Macau's Lam Ka Seng helped India get the flurry of goals on a rainy evening in Bangalore. Stephen Constantine's men are up against Macau in Group A of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers and we bring you the LIVE updates from the match.

India had last qualified to the AFC Asian Cup in Doha in 2011. This is the first of the three reverse fixtures that India play in the third round but a win would seal India's qualification for the showpiece event.

India last played the Asian Cup in 2011 after winning the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup but were humbled in the group stages where they were pitted against Bahrain, South Korea and Australia. Balwant Singh was continuously threatening as he kept striding forward with scary runs and produced phenomenal display for his side. Off a build-up down the left, Rowllin Borges hit a shot on goal after receiving the ball from Jeje Lalpekhlua.

The 54-year-old went on to label the achievement as a "terrific team effort", which has seen the Blue Tigers win all four of their games in their qualification group and have been assured of a top-two spot.

India started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with Chhetri playing behind Jeje with the only surprise being Jackichand Singh starting on the right wing instead of Udanta Singh.

The goal was set up by Chan Chun, who found space on the right and sent in a attractive cross. It would be the last of his 102 worldwide caps for India, though a near-full strength Bayern Munich team gave him a testimonial game 12 months later in New Delhi. Jeje took it in near the halfway line and sent Balwant clear.

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On the second occasion, before Chetri could capitalise on a ball of a defender's foot, 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. They are yet to concede a goal in the qualifiers.

This will be India's fourth appearance in the Asian Cup finals.

"I have to say that we got there in the end".

"We have to play more games now to get prepared". "Amazing feeling. We have worked hard for this". The gap of 27 years is the longest any team have had in tournament history. Till then it was mostly one-way traffic - in pouring rain - as Macau battled hard to keep the Indians at bay. This is indeed a quick change in fortunes for the national team which had a disastrous 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign losing all but one of their eight games.

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