India look to outclass Macau in AFC Asian Cup qualifiers (Preview)

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Macau, Sep 4 (IANS) On an 10-match unbeaten run, the Indian football team will look to outclassing Macau in the away fixture of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers at the Macau Olympic Stadium here on Tuesday.

The 97th placed India have recorded a cent per cent win in the qualifiers, defeating lower ranked teams Kyrgyz Republic (128) and Myanmar (157) earlier by solitary goal margins in both the matches to stay on top of Group A with six points.

The away side will be bolstered with the inclusion of captain Sunil Chettri, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and winger Udanta Singh in the squad after they missed out in India’s tri-nation series victory due to their AFC Cup tie clashing at the same time.

India coach Stephen Constantine will look to use the skills of the young Under-23 players Salam Ranjan Singh, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Nikhil Poojary, Germanpreet Singh and Anirudh Thapa who have been included in the squad to advantage.

However, Constantine looked cautious on facing Macau and said: “It’s true that we are at the top of the table at the moment but we need to work harder if we are to stay there.”

Captain Chhetri showed confidence in the abilities of his team and said: “We are a confident group. We are confident of our abilities. But we are not judging Macau by what happened to them in their last two matches. It’s a fresh match, and we start afresh.”

On the other side, Macau will look to register their maiden victory at home in the qualifying stage after registering a 0-1 loss against Kyrgyz Republic and seeing an emphatic 0-4 defeat against Myanmar.

Forward Leong Ka Hang, who was crowned the Macau Footballer of the Year in 2011, along side 33-year-old captain Paulo Cheang Ieong, who plays in the midfield and is the lone survivor in the squad from the 2006 AFC Challenge Cup, will be the key for their side against India.

The 183-ranked side is also the only team in Group A who failed to manage a win in their initial two matches.

Squads:

India:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subrata Paul, Albino Gomes.

Defenders: Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Arnab Mondal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala.

Midfielders: Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Halicharan Narzary.

Forwards: Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri (captain), Robin Singh, Balwant Singh.

Macau:

Goalkeepers: Ho Man Fai, Chi Hang Fong, Leong Chon Kit, Lo Weng Hou

Defenders: Lei Ka Him, Choi Chan In, Lao Pak Kin, Chan Pak Chun, Wong Vernon, Lei Chi Kin, Lei Ka Hou, Kam Chi Hou, Lam Ngai

Midfielders: Paulo Cheang Ieong (captain), Lam Ka Seng, Edgar Teixeira, Pang Chi Hang, Kong Cheng Hou, Ho Chi Fong, Cheong Hoi San, Sio Ka Un, Ng Wa Seng, Amancio Goitia Matos.

Forwards: Leong Ka Hang, Niki Torrão, Carlos Leonel Gois, Cheong Kin Chong.

–IANS

sam/pur/dg

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