Chhetri's chaps draw 2-2 against Myanmar in AFC qualifier, assured berth in UAE event
Margao: The India national team ended their qualification campaign for the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) Asian Cup 2019, scheduled to be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in 2019, with a rollercoaster 2-2 win against group A rivals Myanmar, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.
The Burmese looked to have shocked Stephen Constantine's men in the very first minute of the game, when Naing Oo Yan headed in his effort, after rising above everyone in the home side's box. India responded through captain Chhetri, who earned and converted a penalty just after the first quarter of the half. That sense of calm would soon be disrupted again through Kyaw Ko Ko before Jeje's 69th-minute equaliser ensured India would head to Dubai with an unblemished record in their qualification journey.
India began in an evident 4-2-3-1, lining up with Jeje Lalpekhlua as the apex predator, while Udanta Singh, Sunil Chhetri and Halicharan Narzary all took up positions behind him.
Midfield was reigned over by Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Germanpreet Singh, who incidentally made his senior team debut. The defence saw familiar guard marshal Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's goal, as Pritam Kotal, Anas Edathodika, Sandesh Jhingan and Jerry Lalrinzuala all began for the Blue Tigers.
For Myanmar, hot prospect Aung Thu began in attack while Kyaw Ko Ko, the jewel of the national team, also retained his starting spot in an Angels team, who needed nothing less than a win to ensure they tied with Kyrgyzstan in the group on points, seeing India had nothing to lose in the tie.
And India's Asian neighbours began with an almighty bang. Aung Thu pushed the ball into Thein Than Win on the left, whose cross had Yan Naing leap above everybody else and effectively nod in. The time on the clock as India trailed showed a mere 13 seconds.