The Indian Football Team is fresh from a friendly Tri-nation series win, beating Mauritius and St. Kitts & Nevis to lift the trophy.
India currently stay on top of Group A of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers with six points, courtesy of back-to-back victories against Myanmar and Kyrgyz Republic. The Blue Tigers have already beaten Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan by a margin of 1-0 each.
They will be more than happy to take the same result to make it 3 wins out of 3 which will all but confirm their qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 to be held in UAE.
The next opponent for the ‘Blue Tigers’ is Macau, who are ranked 183 in the FIFA Rankings. Macau, nicknamed ‘The Greens’, lost their last match to Hong Kong by a margin of 4-0 on 2nd September, 2017
The national coach Stephen Constantine felt there was “no reason to underestimate Macau as a team”.
“Macau will be playing at home and in front of their home crowd. There’s always a marked difference between playing at home and playing an away match but we are aware of the challenge,” Constantine said.
Macau has never qualified to their regional East-Asian Cup, let alone Asian Cups or World Cups. However, they did take part in the inaugural AFC Challenge Cup, 2006 meant for ‘emerging nations’.
India v Macau
Date: 5th September 2017
Time: 5 PM IST
Venue: Macau Olympic Complex
Telecast: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1
India (4-2-3-1): Gurpreet; Kotal, Jhinghan, Edathodika, Narayan: Lyngdoh, Borges; Udanta, Chhetri, Narzary: Jeje
Macau (3-4-1-2): Ho Man Fai; Choi Chan In; Lei Ka Him, Lei ka Hou; Paulo Ieong, Teixeira, Kong Cheng, Lam Ka Seng; Chi Hang; Leong, Niki Torrao
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subrata Paul, Albino Gomes, Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Arnab Mondal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Halicharan Narzary, Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Balwant Singh
He Wenhui, Feng Zhiheng, Zheng Zhenjan, Liu Bajian, Chen, Shenghao, Li Zijian, Li Jiahao, Wu Yu, Cai, Maersk, Li Jia, Lin Yidong, Huang Hualin, Shanyan, Peng Zihen, Linga, He Zifeng, Zhang Haishan, Liang Jiaheng, Amway, Li Jinhong
It is important for India to win this fixture as it will solidify their standings before the reverse list of fixtures, which start in October. India have been undefeated in their last 10 outings with 9 wins and a draw. Their last defeat was a narrow 2-1 reverse to Turkmenistan.
Macau on the other hand have not scored a goal since November last year. Even off the pitch, they have a new coach, Chan Hiu Ming, a former Technical Director of the Macau Football Association who has taken up the job very recently.
The crucial match will be played at the Macau Olympic Complex. On paper, India are favourites to win the tie but it’s football after all!