India take on Myanmar in AFC Asian Cup Qualifying opener
Written by: Mrunal Nakashe
The Blue Tigers will look to continue their recent good form…
India take on Myanmar in their AFC Asian Cup Qualifying opener at the Thuwanna YTC Stadium, in Yangon on Tuesday. The Indians will be looking to continue their recent good form as they look to make it to the tournament in the United Arab Emirates in two years’ time.
Both teams come into the game on the back of wins. Myanmar beat Indonesia 1-3, while the Blue Tigers edge out Cambodia 2-3 in an away friendly. India are ranked 132nd in the latest FIFA rankings, 40 places above their opponents.
Myanmar have no major injury concerns and manager Gerd Ziese will have a full squad to pick from.
India also has a fully fit squad but manager Stephen Constantine could revert to the combination that worked well against Cambodia in the second half.
Head to Head
India lead the head-to-head between the two countries 10-9 in their 24 meetings. However, the hosts beat India the last time these two teams met in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in 2013. They also haven’t beaten Myanmar on their own turf since 1953.
Gerd Ziese-Myanmar: On paper, the Indian team is better than us. But, we can beat them. They like to play good football. We have to stop them. We also have to focus on our play. The team is playing well and I’m satisfied. Our aim is to qualify for the Asian Cup. But, it’s a long qualifying campaign.
Stephen Constantine-India: “India can beat anybody on their day. But that does not mean that you cannot have a bad day. Sometimes there are good days sometimes there are bad days. That is football.”
Man to Watch
Kyaw Ko K-Myanmar: The experienced scored in the win against Indonesia, what was his first goal for the national team for a year. The forward has been a regular for the national team since bursting onto the scene in the AFC Asian Cup in 2010 and is also one of the team’s senior’s statesman with 39 caps under his belt. His performance leading the line will be crucial against an Indian back four that had its moments in the win against the Cambodians.
Sandesh Jhingan, Pritam Kotal and Rowlin Borges will be key in keeping Myanmar attacks at bay
Sandesh Jhingan-India: The Bengaluru FC centre-back added much-needed steel to his team after coming on a substitute a week ago and although his recent form has been patchy, he remains a key part of Constantine’s plans for the future. His leadership skills and ability to organise the backline will be crucial as the Blue Tigers seek back-to-back away wins, a rarity to say the least.
Myanmar: Sithu, Win, Ko Ko, Htut, Htan, Naing Oo, Kaw, Kwaw Ko Ko, Tun, Lwin, Thu.
India: Sandhu, Narayan, Edathodika, Jhingan Kotal, Borges Chhetri, ;Lyngdoh, Jackichand, Lalpekhlua, Robin.
The game starts at 5 PM IST on Tuesday and it will be telcast Live on DD Sports.
Published: Mon Mar 27, 2017 06:08 PM IST