Chhetri stunner helps India win 1-0 against Kyrgyzstan
- Author: Arturo Norris Jun 14, 2017,
Jun 14, 2017, 16:29
On being asked whether being placed 32 places above their opponents will give India a psychological advantage, head coach Stephen Constantine said, "I think the ranking comes for a particular reason". A win on Tuesday, would brighten chances of qualifying for the tournament proper in the UAE in 2019. Macau and Myanmar are the other two teams in Group A, India defeating Myanmar by a solitary goal in their opening match.
In their earlier Qualifier match on 28th March, the men in blue defeated Myanmar 1-0. India have won twice-in Nehru Cup 2007 and 2009 - but Kyrgyzstan won the last contest in the 2010 AFC Challenge Cup.
Constantine may also be anxious about playmaker Eugenson Lyngdoh as he has not had the best of run for BFC this season. Star striker Sunil Chhetri is certain to return after being rested against Nepal in Mumbai. Our players play in Europe and in Kyrgyzstan, all players in good conditions. In a quick counter-attack, Chhetri got the better of at least three Kyrgyz players at the middle of the park and then sent the ball for Jeje. They have quality and they have a great experience. They are a hard side to breakdown, ' he said. "By God's grace, going out and winning is tough but it instills positivity within you", he said at the official pre-match conference on Monday. Whether we are 32 above or below will not decide the outcome, but performance on the field.
In front of a vociferous crowd at the Kanteerava stadium, India notched their eighth victory in a row (including an unofficial friendly win over Bhutan) and are now set to climb further in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings table.
"We have a huge task to cut out tomorrow". We know they are a strong side but we are here to give everything we have to win the tie. Now the table has turned and we're getting results. But, we can not afford to be complacent. One moment of the slip-up and everything will be ruined.
Although Constantine sounded confident about his boys, his respect for the opponents was clear as well, "They are an experienced side".
"We will not be satisfied with a draw. We are top of the group", he tweeted. "We are in India and need to do everything we have to take the three points". As substitutes, Mondal and central midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh made it five players who featured in both games separated by over two years. This is 21st century and there are no secrets. I'm very pleased that he didn't play against Nepal because maybe he wouldn't have made that run had he not been protected.