India hit Laos for a six in 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

India qualify for 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers
India win 6-1 against Laos at home, 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers,
Picture Courtesy: AIFF Media
AFC Asian Cup 2016 Qualifiers
Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati
India 6-1 Laos
India: Jeje Lalpekhlua(43rd, 75th), Sumeet Passi(45th), Sandesh Jhingan(48th), Md. Rafique(85th), Fulganco Cardozo(89th)
Laos: Khonesavanh Sihavong(16th)

Team India showed their steel as they outplayed Laos 6-1 at home soil in Guwahati in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers on Tuesday, 7th June 2016. Team India went into the game with a slender one goal lead thanks to their 1-0 away victory over their rivals in the first leg but the lead didn't last long as the Blue Tigers conceded in the 16th minute. Despite going down by a goal early, The Blue Tigers didn't put their heads down and dominated the possession. Indian Team were lacking the final delivery and Constantine deployed Jackichand Singh in place of Bengaluru FC youngster Udanta Singh to inject that. They were rewarded in the 43rd minute when man-in-form Jeje Lalpekhlua scored from a Jackichand Singh cross. Minutes later, Jackichand Singh again provided the final delivery with Sumeet Passi tapped the ball calmly as India went into the break with a 2-1 lead.

The second half saw an entire different attitude as Team India went for the kill from the word go. The second half itself saw four goals, all of them scored by India - Sandesh Jhingan(48th), Jeje Lalpekhlua(75th), Md. Rafique(85th) and Fulganco Cardozo(89th). An unmarked Sandesh Jhingan stretched India's lead to 3-1 when his well placed header found the net from a Eugeneson Lyngdoh free-kick and Laos leaving the tall defender unmarked. Laos tried to pave their way back into the game but an alert Indian defense well marshaled by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu proved too big a block for the visitors to break. Jeje put the game to bed in the 75th minute when Sumeet Passi's found the Mizo striker clean through on goal and the chance was well converted. Jeje could have had his hat-trick but his shot struck the left stick. Sunil Chhetri's trickery was too good for Laos defense as he laid the ball to Rafique, whose shot took a massive deflection off a Laos defender, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way and finding the back of the net. Flugano Cardozo coming on as a substitute, scored the sixth goal for India with a thumping header in the 89th minute as the route was complete. It is to be noted that coach Stephen Constantine continued his trend to hand debuts to new players as Bengaluru FC's Keegan Pereira and Sporting's Fulganco Cardozo earned their first national team cap.

India thus won the double header tie 7-1 on aggregate and progress to the third qualification round where a total of 24 teams will be grouped in 6 groups and the top two from each will qualify for the coveted 2019 AFC Asian Cup UAE main round.
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About Debraj Banerjee

Hi, I am Debraj Banerjee from Adra, West Bengal. A keen follower of Indian football and always an optimist that the game will get the recognition it truely deserves. What we ask from you is your support and one day the dream might turn true. Fingers crossed for Indian football. Cheers!

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