2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier: Sunil Chhetri to miss India vs Kyrgyzstan match
Sunil Chhetri picked up his second booking of the group phase against Myanmar
What's the story?
India played out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Myanmar last night, where the hosts had to come back from behind twice against their Asian counterparts. Sunil Chhetri scored the equaliser in the first half, but a booking in the second half meant that the Indian captain will now miss India's final league game against Kyrgyzstan.
In case you didn't know...
India have so far gone unbeaten in the Asian Cup 2019 qualification and have already booked their spot in the main event with one game to go. Chhetri scored against Myanmar from a spot kick to notch up his 56th international goal.
The heart of the matter
The AFC rules state that a player can accumulate only two yellow cards in the group stage and the player guilty of doing that will have to sit out one match through suspension. Chhetri's booking against Myanmar was his second booking in the group matches, which means that he is suspended for India's final group game against Kyrgyzstan. Chhetri's first caution was also received against the same opponents as yesterday in a 1-0 win in Yangon, earlier this year.
Despite Chhetri's absence, India will now play their final Asian Cup qualifying match against Kyrgyzstan on March 27. The Blue Tigers are unbeaten so far in the group stage, and will look to extend this run to 14 matches, as they go into their last group stage match. Having already qualified for the AFC Asian Cup 2019, India will be ooking for a win, which could help them climb the FIFA rankings and get an easier draw in the group stage of the continental tournament.
Sunil Chhetri is one of the integral parts of this Indian lineup and without him, the Blues will struggle for composure in the final third to score against a tough opponent and subsequently, stay unbeaten in the group phase.