India football team in Goa for Asian Cup Qualifier

The Indian football team landed here on Sunday for the forthcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Qualifier tie against Myanmar on Tuesday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.

The team headed to Goa after a six-day long preparatory camp in Mumbai.

Despite being the sole team from Group A to have already qualified for the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, the players aren’t in a mood to let the momentum slip as India presently stay unbeaten in 13 international matches.

Captain Sunil Chhetri, who scored the winner the last time when the two teams met in Yangon earlier this year, hailed Myanmar as a “very compact side”.

“The entire country will get to see their technicalities when we meet them. There is no shame in admitting that they dominated us when we played in Yangon. But we were resilient. Also don’t forget that they came back from 0-2 down to make it 2-2 against Kyrgyz Republic. That speaks of their strength,” the striker said.

“It may sound clichĂ© but we need to prove a point. We can’t take the foot off the pedal and need to continue our winning streak,” Chhetri added.

Central-defender Sandesh Jhingan also hailed Myanmar.

“They are a very hard working side who run a lot. In addition, their ball control is quite exemplary. They have a number of very good players in the middle and their No. 10 is a special one. It’s not going to be an easy match,” Jhingan said.

“But we want to win. There isn’t any place for any complacency just because we have already qualified. We need to continue the winning streak and will keep doing what we have been doing to get the result we want.”

The weather here is pleasant with clear blue skies though there are predictions for light showers on match-day.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the sole Indian player to have played in the UEFA Europa League, said Myanmar were a very talented and technical side.

“They are strong unit with very talented and technically sound players who can create havoc with the ball. There will always be a tendency for all to underestimate them but we won’t,” he said.

Defender Pritam Kotal said India will approach the match the same way they have done in the last four matches.

“In our away match, we defended very well. They have some very nippy players and their touches are brilliant,” the defender said.

“We are aware they need to win but at the same time we need to win too and will go all out to achieve it.”

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