Records broken by India after beating Macau 4-1 to seal AFC Asian Cup 2019 spot
On Wednesday, India secured their passage into the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to be held in the United Arab Emirates with a terrific 4-1 victory against minnows Macau at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru.
Having already won the away fixture 2-0, the Indian team were confident of pulling off another win at home. With over 4000 fans cheering on, the hosts made most of the heavy weather to thrash their world No. 182 opponents.
It was Rowllin Borges who had given India an early lead in the 28th minute. However, Macau’s Nicholas Mario Tarrao latched onto a cross from the right flank and beat Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu from close range to equalise in the 37th minute.
The visitors kept on troubling India until the hour mark before captain Sunil Chhetri scored following a brilliant counter-attack. Jeje Lalpekhlua had sent Balwant Singh through on goal but the latter unselfishly relayed the ball to Chhetri to score the easiest of goals.
Ten minutes later, Macau were done in by an own goal as Lam Seng’s clearance ballooned into his own net. India could have scored more had they been more clinical in finishing. They did add a fourth goal in the 92nd minute when Jeje found the back of the net.
Here are some of the records broken during the match:
#1 This was India’s fourth straight win in the Group A qualifier of AFC Asian Cup for India this year. The win also meant that India are now on a 12-game unbeaten streak, the best ever in the history of Indian football.
#2 This is only the fourth time that India have qualified for AFC Asian Cup. They had previously qualified in 1964, 1984 and 2011. In 2011, they had qualified after winning the AFC Challenge Cup.
#3 In yesterday’s match, Stephen Constantine gave a debut to Salam Ranjan Singh, the 38th player to get it during his second spell. This is the highest by any Indian coach.
#4 Chhetri scored his 55th goal in 96 games, eclipsing Polish forward Robert Lewandowski's international goals-per-game ratio.
#5 Nicholas Mario Tarrao’s goal for Macau was their first goal of the tournament. They had conceded eight through the course of the tournament. It was also the first goal India had conceded in the final round of qualifiers.