The Indian national men's team started their third round qualifying campaign for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with an away win over Myanmar in Yangon on Tuesday.
REPORT: Myanmar 0-1 India: Sunil Chhetri turns saviour for the Blue Tigers
India struggled for greater parts of the game at the Thuwunna Stadium but it was Sunil Chhetri's strike at the death that separated the two sides. Head coach Stephen Constantine was elated with the win and the way his charges clawed back into the game.
"It was a very difficult game as we expected. Myanmar had several chances to score. They couldn't take the opportunity and we had maybe three or four of our own and we took ours. Overall it was a very good game. Thanks to the Myanmar Football Federation for treating us so well and we will make sure they get the same treatment when they come to India," he assessed and promised.
The last time these two sides clashed was at the very same venue in 2013 and the Burmese Angels came out on top. The British-Cypriot tactician was happy to pull one back over Myanmar on this occasion.
Constantine elucidated that the substitutions in the second half changed the complexion of the match. "Any coach makessubstitutionsto try and change the game and our substitutions were brilliant on the field today. We put (Sunil) Chhetri more towards the left and that worked out well for us," explained the former Rwanda coach.
Yahoo in Yangon as blueprint for Tigers' success takes shape
"We have to get nine points in this group in away matches. Having secured three points away gives us a lot more confidence to move forward."
"Now we move onto play Kyrgyzstan and Macau after that, this doesn't change anything and we are still six points short. We can beat anybody at home," Constantine laid bare his plans and thoughts, looking forward to the challenge that lied ahead to qualify for Asian football's showpiece event in 2019.
India next play the Kyrgyz Republic at home on 12th June 2017. The Central Asian nation defeated Macau in a similar fashion later in the day. India and theKyrgyz Republic jointly lead the group with three points each and similar goal differences.