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India take on Laos in Asian Cup qualifiers today

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  7 Jun 2016 12:00 AM GMT

By our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI, June 6: India will take on Laos in the second leg of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE Qualifiers match here tomorrow. The match will kick off at 7 in the evening.

This will be the second meeting between the two countries in a FIFA intertiol. First time they face each other was in the first leg of this competition which was hosted by Laos in Vientiane on June 2. India won the game by 1-0 margin and Jeje scored the all important goal of the match.

For the record, India’s 0-1 win against Laos in Vientiane was the first away win for ‘Men in Blue’ in a qualifier since 2001.

However despite registering a win in Laos Stephen Constantine, Head Coach of the Indian tiol Team, felt that the job is still half done and anything can happen tomorrow.”

Speaking at the Official Pre-Match Press Conference, Constantine, flanked by Captain Sunil Chhetri and goalkeeper Gurpreet, said, “Laos are not a bad side and they worked very hard in the 1st leg. We have to concentrate on tomorrow’s game and aim to win.”

“It starts 0-0 tomorrow and we have no room for complacency against them. We respect Laos but we will try to beat them,” he added.

He got support from the captain Sunil Chetry too. “We are approaching the game from scratch and the only advantage is that we have played against them before this game. Otherwise there is no advantage for us,” quipped Chhetri.

Like the away game India will miss the service of several key players in this match too because of injury. Coach admitted that he is upset with the so many injuries in the team but at the same time he said that now his reserve bench is much better than earlier and it helped him to put a descent team in the away game against Laos and will be in this game too.

“We are missing key Players such as Robin Singh, Dhanpal Ganesh, Rowlin Borges, Bikash Jairu, Cavin Lobo, Proy Halder - all of whom may have started tomorrow. One of my main objectives was to build a Team for the future and had I not backed the 25 Players to make debut for India, we may not have been able to put in a squad against Laos tomorrow. There is competition for almost every position now. It’s a very healthy sign,” said Constantine.

The coach also added: Jeje, Halicharan rzary and Manipur boy Udanta Singh, will be playing in front of their home crowd tomorrow. “Playing in front of home crowed is always a special moment for a player and it is a perfect opportunity to show the crowd what they can do,” said coach.

Meanwhile Head Coach of the Laos tiol Team, Valkaone Pomphakdy dubbed the Indian tiol Team as a good side with a lot of potential. Talking to the media persons this afternoon he said, “India are a good technical side and they stretched us to our limits in the 1st leg of the fixture. Had they been clinical they could have scored more against us. We are lucky not to concede more than one goal in the first leg.”

He also added that there is no pressure on his side going into the 2nd leg. “We will play with a free mind and I have told my players not to take any pressure in the game. They should enjoy their Football. Pressure will be on India as it will be their home game,”said coach.

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