In pursuit of their Asian dream, India open their campaign in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers UAE 2019 tomorrow (March 28, 2017) when Stephen Constantine’s men take on Myanmar in Yangon. The match is slated to kick-off at IST 5PM.
At the Official Pre-Match Press Conference, Head Coach Stephen Constantine said: “India can beat anybody on their day. But that does not mean that you cannot have a bad day. Sometimes there are good days sometimes there are bad days. That is Football.”
“The Players have worked very hard to prepare for the game against Myanmar and it will be a challenge for us. We have the utmost respect for Myanmar as they are a very tough Team. I expect a very tough and tight game,” he added.
The last time the two sides played in Yangon in 2013, India had lost by a solitary goal in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers.
But according to “talismanic” captain Sunil Chhetri, who leads India tomorrow (March 28, 2017), it will be of no real significance once the Teams take to the pitch.
“We have watched a lot of videos of Myanmar’s former matches. And it is clear that we cannot, just cannot underestimate our opponents,” Chhetri, sitting next to Constantine echoed.
“We have come here for three points but it will be an uphill battle against Myanmar,” he stated.
India have been clubbed in Group A of the AFC Asian Cup qualifying round alongside Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar and Macau. Three points in the opening game will give the Indian side a much needed morale boost in an open group where anybody can defeat anybody on their day.
“We believe we have a chance to qualify for the Finals and so does Myanmar and so does every Team in the group. Hence it is vital not to lose our first game,” stated Constantine. “We focus on our home games after our clash against Myanmar and every Team will try to secure nine points to get them a qualification to 2019.”
India come on the back off a 2-3 win in an International Friendly against Cambodia in Phnom Penh on March 22 which ended their barren streak in since June 2005 in an away International Friendly in the process.
Reacting to an expected turnout of almost 20000, Constantine quipped: “The pressure will be on the home team. We have worked hard coming into the game and we need to play our best,” he maintained.