January 21, 2018

India, Myanmar promise to place winning feet forward

14 November 2017, 08:31 | Casey Mitchell

Sunil Chhetri No issues with India coach Stephen Constantine

Sunil Chhetri No issues with India coach Stephen Constantine

Myanmar's national football team will play India tonight in what is a crucial qualifying match in their quest to reach the 2019 Asian Cup.

India looked risky in their counter attacks and had their chances to restore parity but Sandesh Jhingan shot over the bar off a free kick taken by Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the 39th minute.

San Marino faced England in the last match of their maiden World Cup qualification campaign for U.S. '94, having shipped in 39 goals and scored just one in nine games till then. They have already ensured qualification for the continental championship and the clash against Myanmar was only of academic interest.

With the draw, India are on the top of the group with 13 points from five matches.

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But India's performance in Tuesday's match was nothing to write home about.

Hosts South Korea and Turkey were competing for third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup after fairytale runs to the last four of the event for the first time ever, and the first goal in a 3-2 win for Turkey came in perhaps the most anti-climactic way possible.

Can India carve out a win against Myanmar given the fact that Myanmar coach Gerd Zeise insist that India were lucky to score the match victor against them in the away match in the 90th minute, despite the Myanmar team dominating the play?

Myanmar scored through Yan Naing (1st minute) and Kyaw Ko Ko (19th) while Sunil Chhetri (12th minutes penalty) and Jeje Lalpekhlua (69th) found the target at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh virtually handed back the lead to Myanmar on a platter with an atrocious blunder just seven minutes later.

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Four minutes later, India missed a chance to get back on level terms when Sandesh Jhingan's attempt from the edge of the six-yard box sailed inches over the bar after the ball had fallen kindly for him after a deflection off a freekick.

Myanmar are now second in their qualification group after picking up four points from their first three matches.

Jeje went close for India a couple of minutes later but Win Min Htut kept him at bay by deflecting his shot for a corner.

India continued to control the proceedings and finally restored parity in the 69th minute through Jeje.

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"My team has made the necessary adjustment to face India tomorrow and we are out to take full points", stated the Myanmar coach confidently.

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