India-Myanmar final qualifier today
Yangon (PTI): Seeking to qualify for next year's AFC Challenge Cup, an in-form India will look to earn full points against Myanmar in their final...
Yangon (PTI): Seeking to qualify for next year's AFC Challenge Cup, an in-form India will look to earn full points against Myanmar in their final qualifying match here on Wednesday.
With two wins from as many matches, a positive result or even a draw will be enough for India to qualify for the 2014 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup. India started their campaign in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers with a 2-1 victory over Chinese Taipei, before thrashing Guam 4-0 on Monday at the Youth Training Centre.
But a win for Myanmar will see them pip India as group toppers. For the record, India stay at the top of the group with six points from two matches while Myanmar, placed second, are on four points from as many matches.
The top team from the group qualifies for the AFC Challenge Cup 2014, which is to be held in Maldives.
"At the back of the mind, you may be forced to think about a draw which will see us through. But we won't play for a draw," chief coach Wim Koevermans told his boys.
India captain Sunil Chettri, who scored two goals against Guam, is in prime form and needs just two more strikes to equal Bhaichung Bhutia's record as the highest goal scorer for the country in international matches.
However, Chettri said the Indians will have to play out of their skin to beat Myanmar in front of their home crowd.
"Let's not forget they will have support from the stands and from what we saw, it's a noisy crowd. Teams when backed by passionate fans can be very dangerous. That stays a big challenge for us," he said.
The two second half goals against Guam on Monday took Chhetri's tally of goals to 40, two short of India's all-time scorer, former captain Bhutia.
The Indians, who were unimpressive in the opening half against Guam, would look to stamp their authority over Myanmar from the onset. But for that to happen, Kovermans' boys will have to be come up with a much-improved performance in the opening 45 minutes.