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Macau vs India, 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, highlights: IND win 2-0

India took another stride towards the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after a 2-0 win over Macau in their Group A qualifier on Tuesday, with substitute Balwant Singh scoring a brace. Catch highlights of Macau vs India, 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, here

football Updated: Sep 05, 2017 20:23 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
India rode on Balwant Singh’s brace to beat Macau 2-0 in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier. Catch highlights of Macau vs India, 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, here.
India rode on Balwant Singh’s brace to beat Macau 2-0 in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier. Catch highlights of Macau vs India, 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, here.(Video screenshot - Twitter/IndianFootball)

India have stepped closer to their aim of qualifying from the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after a 2-0 win over Macau in a Group A qualifier at the Macau Olympic Stadium on Tuesday. After a goalless first half, India head coach Stephen Constantine replaced midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh with forward Balwant Singh. The move paid dividends as Balwant scored both of India’s goals. India continue to top Group A with 9 points from three games, and are yet to concede in this qualification round. Catch highlights of Macau vs India, 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, here (PREVIEW) (BAN vs AUS SCORECARD)

18:52 hrs IST: It’s all over! India beat Macau 2-0 to step closer to 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualification. Balwant Singh the hero for India with two goals after coming on as a substitute.

18:46 hrs IST: Germanpreet Singh replaces Jeje in India’s final substitution of the match.

18:42 hrs IST: Jackichand Singh replaces Udanta Singh on India’s right flank.

18:39 hrs IST: GOAL! Super sub Balwant Singh takes advantage of a defensive lapse to put India 2-0 ahead.

18:34 hrs IST: Macau have been poor on the ball today. Quite a few promising moves have been wasted due to their poor ball retention.

18:27 hrs IST: India all over Macau in the second half so far. Udanta’s attempt from outside the box goes wide by inches.

18:21 hrs IST: Pritam Kotal’s long range effort is kept away by the Macau custodian. An audacious attempt, matched by a superb save.

18:18 hrs IST: Close! Balwant Singh comes close again, but his header goes wide of the post.

18:15 hrs IST: GOAL! Substitute Balwant Singh puts India 1-0 ahead!

18:13 hrs IST: India have a free kick from a promising area, but Sunil Chhetri’s attempt goes over the bar.

18:10 hrs IST: India won their previous two games in this round by 1-0 scorelines, with Sunil Chhetri scoring in the second half on both occasions. Will we see a repeat of the same pattern tonight?

18:03 hrs IST: India make an attacking substitution for the second half, with striker Balwant Singh replacing midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh. They earn a corner straight away, but it’s wasted.

17:46 hrs IST: Halftime at the Macau Olympic Stadium. India yet to find the breakthrough despite a dominant performance.

17:45 hrs IST: Macau have a free kick in India’s half. The delivery, however, is straight to Gurpreet.

17:42 hrs IST: Narzary’s ball from the left reaches Chhetri, but the latter’s shot is saved by Macau’s goalkeeper.

17:35 hrs IST: Close! Jeje misses a clear cut scoring opportunity from and Eugeneson’s effort from long range hits the cross bar.

17:28 hrs IST: Macau get a free kick just outside the India’s penalty box. The resultant kick goes well over the bar.

17:23 hrs IST: It continues to be goalless at the Macau Olympic Stadium. Can either of the sides break the deadlock in the first half?

17:17 hrs IST: Macau have stitched together a couple of attacking moves in the last few minutes. No sugar yet, but that will help relieve some pressure.

17:12 hrs IST: Not much in terms of penetration from India. Sunil Chhetri has a shot from outside the box blocked. It’s still goalless in Macau.

17:05 hrs IST: India on the attack in the opening exchanges. Macau happy to sit back so far.

17:00 hrs IST: Kick-off in Macau! Can India go one step further towards qualification? We will find out in the next couple of hours.

16:30 hrs IST: Meanwhile, the other game in Group A, Kyrgyz Republic vs Myanmar, has now been cancelled. Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will make a decision on whether the match will be postponed or forfeited. Authorities in Bishkek have recommended the AFC that in light of the ongoing situation involving Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, which many global observers have described as a genocide against the minority group in the country’s Arakan province, the match be held in a neutral venue due to safety reasons. The Bishkek-based AKIpress news agency has reported that the Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan, Sapar Isakov, has authorized the cancellation.

16:05 hrs IST: “2019 (Asian Cup) isn’t far and we have to be there. I feel Macau were a bit unlucky against the Kyrgyz Republic. But we are here to play our game and we need to concentrate on ourselves,” Constantine had said.

16:00 hrs IST: It’s been more than 17 months since India lost an away game. Their last defeat away from home was against Iran in a 2018 World Cup qualifier match.

15:54 hrs IST: The 96th-ranked India are having a fruitful year in terms of both FIFA rankings and number of wins, and September is their fifth straight month inside the FIFA top 100.

15:50 hrs IST: Stephen Constantine’s men have won both their previous Group A games (1–0) against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic.

15:48 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to HT’s live coverage of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers. Today, we have India facing Macau in a crucial Group A clash of the third round qualifier.

While India will look to continue their winning run in the third round qualifying phase of UAE 2019, the 183rd-ranked Macau, on the other hand, will hope to revive their fortunes at the Macau Olympic Complex.

Having lost their first two games, a loss to India will come as a big blow to Macau’s qualification hopes.

Sunil Chhetri, who scored a goal each in the qualifiers against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic, will return to the side after being absent from the games against Mauritius and St. Kitts & Nevis in the tri-nation series last month.

A win for India will take their tally to 9 points from three games, and, with home clashes against Macau and Myanmar yet to come, will put them on the brink of making the cut for Asia’s elite competition.