India beat Laos 1-0, edge closer to Asian Qualifiers
Jeje found the target in the 56th minute from a Udanta Singh assist as a dominant India carved out a win away from home in a long time at the New Laos National Stadium. India had recorded their last away win in 2013 during the 10th SAFF Championships in Nepal.
The Stephen Constantine-coached side will now go into into the June 7 home tie in Guwahati in an advantageous position.
India had won just one match in eight outings in the joint 2019 Asian Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers and that has left them to feature in these play-off matches to earn the right to play in the qualifying round of the continent’s flagship football tournament.
It will also be a relief for Englishman Constantine whose future has been under the scanner after a series of poor shows by the national team under his charge.
India, ranked 163rd in the FIFA charts, dominated throughout on Thursday’s match as they did most of the attacking against the 174th ranked home side who had to defend their citadel for most part and rely on occasional counter attacks.
The Indians piled on the pressure on Laos and just before the break Lyngdoh had another volley.
India were lucky to have come out unscathed as Laos wasted a golden chance to equalise in the third minute of the injury time. Laos player Khampheng got a free header from a cross from the right in front of the Indian goal but he missed the target.