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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

AFC Asian Cup football: Sunil Chhetri strike helps India edge out Myanmar

India struggled for long periods during the 2019 AFC Asian Cup football qualifying match against Myanmar in Yangon, but eventually sealed the matter through Sunil Chhetri’s late winner in the Group A clash.

football Updated: Mar 28, 2017 19:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
AIFF(The Indian team poses for a picture ahead of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying clash against Myanmar at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon.)

India left it late, but managed to pick all three points from their opening match of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup third qualifying round against Myanmar after a last-gasp winner from skipper Sunil Chhetri at the Thuwunna Stadium in Yangon on Tuesday.

Playing less than a week after a 3-2 away win over Cambodia in an international friendly, India struggled for long periods during the match, but eventually sealed the matter through Chhetri’s late winner in the Group A clash.

The visitors started the game brightly and looked to put some early pressure on the Myanmar defence. The hosts, however, settled down after the opening exchanges and managed to test the Indian defence on a few occasions in the first half.

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At the half-hour mark, India’s Jackichand Singh missed a golden chance to give India the lead when he skied a drilled cross from the left by Robin Singh with an open net in front of him.

In the second half, Myanmar looked the more composed of the two sides, and dominated the half in terms of chances created.

With 63 minutes on the clock, India’s head coach Stephen Constantine brought on youngster Udanta Singh in place of forward Robin Singh.

Playing his sixth international match for India, Udanta proved to be a constant nuisance for the Myanmar defence, which struggled to keep track of his runs.

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In the 72nd minute, the Bengaluru FC starlet was brought down inside the hosts’ penalty box, but the referee decided to wave play on.

As the game looked set to be heading for a draw, Udanta burst forward down the right flank and pulled the ball back for the well-positioned Chhetri, who calmly slotted the ball into the net to hand the visitors a crucial away win.

With three points in the bag, India’s next qualifying clash will be against Kyrgyzstan at home on June 13 this year.

First Published: Mar 28, 2017 19:46 IST