Amidst the successful hosting of the Federation Internationale de Football Association U-17 World Cup India 2017 where the Indian U-17 National team have won hearts of 1.3 billion people with their stupendous performances, the Senior Indian National team who were already on track for a qualification to the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 felt it best to settle matters on Wednesday (October 11, 2017) itself, that too with two more matches left. We want to finish first in the group. They are atop Group A with 12 points from four matches and play Myanmar on November 24 and Kyrgyzstan on March 27 next year. We are India, we will put our head down and work even harder, said skipper Sunil Chhetri after the game.
Constantine referred to the victory as a "terrific team effort over anything else". I'm immensely proud of my team. "They've gone through anything and everything like the tough training regime, rigorous pressure and at the end of the day, they have delivered", the Coach added. It would be the last of his 102 global caps for India, though a near-full strength Bayern Munich team gave him a testimonial game 12 months later in New Delhi.
"It's an honour of the entire country but only the team".
Speaking about the game and the achievement, the Indian coach was certainly not one to shy away from his opinions. Macau conceded an own goal through defender Lam Seng in the 70th minute to dig their own grave at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.
"We have to play more games now to get prepared". Till then it was mostly one-way traffic - in pouring rain - as Macau battled hard to keep the Indians at bay. Chhetri not only sealed the lead but also give India the lost momentum as they begin the assault on their opponents.
The 1964 edition of the AFC Asian Cup, the third in all, was scheduled for May-June in Israel, who were a part of the Asian confederation till 1974, and only switched to being a nation playing officially in Europe as late as 1991.
"We had absolutely no idea before going into the competition". Sad to say, but after that, we haven't got the chance to face them again. We have to make it count this time. Sunil Chhetri pulled one back for India, but Bahrain scored one more to run out 5-2 winners, with striker Ismaeel Abdullatif scoring four past Subrata Pal. All three scored in the 3-1 win over Hong Kong, while Singh's goal in the 2-0 win over champions Korea Republic meant he finished joint top-scorer for the tournament alongside Israel's Mordechai Spiegler.
Balwant clearly had an impact on the game as his clever running of the channels had the Macanese defenders scampering all over and India started to find a lot of space. His inclusion was great. They have quite a few great players, like 11 (Sunil Chhetri) and others.