India hosted Macau early this evening in the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 qualifiers at Kanteerva Stadium in Bengaluru.
India started off with the same line up as last time, with just one change. Jackiechand started replacing Udanta. India made their first attempt on the goal with a good run from Sunil, pushing the Macau defense to concede the corner. Resulting corner caused little more danger on Macau’s goal. But visitors quick enough to get rid of the danger. India pressurized Macau completely like never before which made the visitors to feel stronger India’s presence and pressure.
Rowlin tried his luck in the 11th min with a right footer long ranger which sailed over the Macau’s goal. In 16th minute Sandesh conceded the first free-kick. But Macau couldn’t really make anything out of it. In the 19th minute, Sunil wins a free-kick right out of the Macau’s box but couldn’t convert that into a goal as his free-kick just passed over the crossbar. India kept the pressure on and the ball position to create chances. Eventually in the 27th minute the much needed goal came in from Rowlin’s foot. Jeje sets up well for him to take a shot on goal which took a deflection before reaching the back of the net.
Macau took 36 minutes to score their first goal of the match and a equalizer with a header from a cross from the right wing. This was the first time India had conceded in the competition. Indian pressure index increased immediately as they conceded the goal. At half time scores were equal, 1-1.
Second half kicked off with Balwant Singh coming in. In the 48th minute brought in a chance for India with Pritam’s long throw in Macau’s box which was just cleared off before Jeje could make something out of it. In the 51st minute Macau made the first attempt on India’s goal. It was again Sandhu for the safe guard. In the very next minute Sunil came closer to score the second, but because of the defensive pressure Sunil had to pass it on to Nazrey whose shot resulted in a corner for India. The following corner did not make any mark.
Soon, after a couple of seconds, Eugene’s corner was well judged by Sandesh, who tried to head it in, but Macau’s goalkeeper held the ball well. The magic happened in the 59th minute. The super sub Balwant Singh came on the ball and managed to put in a perfectly timed cross to find Sunil who made it 2-1 for India. 15 seconds later, Balwant made another run in the Macau’s box, but Macau’s goalkeeper was well off the line to save it for his side. Series of attacks came in from the Indian boys in search of another goal to double the lead. Balwant Singh was there every-time the ball was fed in on the attacking line and prove his coach right. India had a good ball possession and made Macau struggle to get back the ball.
69 minutes on the clock, an own goal coming in by the Macau’s defender, gave India the necessary lead. A cross from Nazrey from the right wing, was miss timed by Macau’s defender who failed to clear and unfortunately hit it into his own net. Few minutes later, Leonel of Macau made an attempt with a toe pock, but his shot landed safely in the hands of Sandhu. It was Balwant again taking a shot, but hitting it off target. It was Jeje again to set it up for Balwant.
Sandhu came in action again in 80th minute by grabbing a ball on a free-kick from Macau. The voices of the crowd had reached the heavens by this time. They were never happy as they were after the third goal.
In the 87th minute, nicely created chance by Nazrey, Sunil gave Jeje to come on the score-sheets. But Jeje shot it off target. This was one game from which no spectator would even afford to blink his/her eye as every second was fully action packed.
Jeje finally wrote his name on the score-sheet in the 91st minute with just placing the ball with his toe into the goal. Sunil was the provider this time by laying it off well to his striking partner. This was the last goal which sealed up the game. So was the history written with this win.
Final whistle on the referee’s watch and it was 4-1 favoring India!
INDIA QUALIFIED FOR THE AFC ASIAN CUP!