The Indian football team would look to open its AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign on a positive note when it takes on Myanmar in a potentially tricky match on Tuesday.
Myanmar(172nd) are ranked 40 spots below India (132nd) in the latest FIFA rankings. They have a better head-to-head record against Stephen Constantinea��s men. India will have to play out of their skins if they are to come out triumphant. The last time the two sides met in 2013A�and India lost by a solitary goal.
Well aware of Indiaa��s unfavourable past record, Constantine had conceded that Myanmar are the favourites in the match. He opined on Monday that his side would be happy to draw the match. a�?The players have worked very hard to prepare for the game. The match against Myanmar will be a challenge for us. We have the utmost respect for themA�as they are a very tough Team. I expect a very tough and tight game,a�? he said.
Constantine said qualification for the finals in the United Arab Emirates in 2019 would give the game in India a huge boost. “I think whenever you qualify for a major event it’s a sign you’re doing things the right way. India qualifying for the Asian Cup would be a huge thing,” he said.
India are coming into the game on the back of a 3-2 win against Cambodia but they were far from convincing. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and co will have to step up against a side who come into the game with a 1-3 win over Indonesia, a team ranked higher than them in the rankings.
Sunil Chhetri, who will captain the Indian side, said past records will be of no real significance once the teams take to the pitch. a�?We have watched a lot of videos of Myanmara��s former matches. And it is clear that we cannot, just cannot underestimate our opponents,a�? Chhetri said. a�?We have come here for three points but it will be an uphill battle against Myanmar,a�? he said.
Form guide (last five matches, most recent first)
Stats and Trivia
a�? India rank 132nd in the world, 40 places ahead of Myanmar(172).
a�? India lead the head-to-head between the two countries 10-9 in their 24 meetings. Myanmar though have scored 46 goals to India’s 36. This number includes four pre-Olympic matches, which are traditionally played by Under-23 teams.
a�? Myanmar beat India 1-0 the last time they met, during the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers in Yangon in March 2013.
a�? India haven’t beaten Myanmar in their own backyard since October 1953, when India prevailed 4-2 in a Quadrangular tournament held in Rangoon (now Yangon).