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  Sports   Football  10 Oct 2017  ‘It’s an opportunity we can’t let go’

‘It’s an opportunity we can’t let go’

THE ASIAN AGE. | UTKARSH KRISHAN
Published : Oct 10, 2017, 2:08 am IST
Updated : Oct 10, 2017, 2:08 am IST

India beat Macau 2-0 in the corresponding fixture on September 5 with skipper Sunil Chettri bagging a brace.

(Representational image)
 (Representational image)

Bengaluru: Football is well and truly the flavour of the season. While the limelight is on the U-17 World Cup, there is a small matter of qualification to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup for the senior side, as they take on Macau in their fourth group match here on Wednesday.

The Men in Blue are on top of their group containing Macau, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar with nine points from three games, and only require a point to guarantee their place in Asia’s quadrennial showpiece event. One individual key to Stephen Constantine’s game plan is Atletico de Kolkata midfielder Eugeneson Lyngdoh, who got chatting on Monday.

“We’re very positive and are prepared mentally and physically for the game,” Lyngdoh beamed, adding that the favourites tag shouldn’t spark complacency within the Indian camp. “In football you never know. Results can always change. Three points is a must. We have to keep pressurising them from the start so that we get the goals.”

India beat Macau 2-0 in the corresponding fixture on September 5 with skipper Sunil Chettri bagging a brace. That might give India a psychological edge coming into this fixture, but Lyngdoh urged caution.

“They are a good side. We can’t take them lightly. They are very compact, so we have to break them down quickly before they build in strength. The camp has been very lively and positive. The boys are very eager and it’s an opportunity (to qualify) we can’t let go.”

The 31-year-old has fond memories of his time at the Kanteerava Stadium, where he spent three fruitful seasons at Bengaluru FC.

“Every time we play here, the fans have never been a disappointment. In the previous home game against Kyrgyzstan, we won because of the adrenaline rush they gave us.”

The top buy at the recent ISL auction also took the time out to praise the India U-17s for handling the weight of expectation. “I feel they’ve got great individual abilities. They played well in the second half of the USA game. They should be more confident and be fearless,” the ex-Shillong Lajong playmaker surmised.

Tags: bengaluru fc, u-17 world cup, sunil chettri