India take on Laos in Asian Cup qualifiers (Preview)

Guwahati, June 6 (IANS) Ahead of the Indian football team’s second-leg clash against Laos in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, which is slated to kick off here on Tuesday, Laos coach Valkaone Pomphakdy dubbed the Indian team as “a good side with a lot of potential”.

Speaking at the pre-match media conference, Pomphakdy was all praise for India who won 1-0 in the away leg in Laos on June 2.

“They (India) are a good technical side and they stretched us to our limits in the 1st leg of the fixture. Had they been clinical they could have scored more against us,” Pomphakdy was quoted as saying by the All India Football Federation website.

Speaking about the first leg game, Pomphakdy said: “Their forward line was regularly troubling our defence line. We are lucky not to concede more than one goal in the first leg.”

However, Pomphakdy said that there is no pressure on his side going into the second leg despite India having a one-goal advantage.

“We will play with a free mind and I have told my Players that there is no pressure on them. They (the players) should enjoy their football.

“India are the favourites to win this tie and the pressure will be on them as they are playing at home. We have nothing to lose,” he added.

His opposite number, Stephen Constantine still believes the job is only half done.

“Laos are not a bad side and they worked very hard in the first leg. We have to concentrate on tomorrow’s game and aim to win,” Constantine said.

“It starts 0-0 tomorrow and we have no room for complacency against them (Laos). We respect Laos but we will try to beat them,” he added.

India’s coach also said they would be missing key players like Robin Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh and Rowlin Borges for the tie at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium.

“We are missing key Players such Robin Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Rowlin Borges, Bikash Jairu, Cavin Lobo, Pronay Halder — all of whom may have started tomorrow,” Constantine confirmed.

–IANS

dd/pur/vt

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