Striker Jeje Lalpekhlua scored twice as india recovered from a one-goal deficit to thrash Laos 6-1 in one of their biggest ever wins to book a berth in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup football qualifiers in Guwahati on tuesday (7).
india trailed 1-0 in the 16th minute through a khonesavanh Sihavong strike but replied in remarkable fashion dominating the rest of the match, scoring six goals – including three in seven minutes.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (42 and 74), Sumeet Passi (45), Sandesh Jhingan (49), Mohd rafique (83) and debutant Fulganco Cardozo (87) were the goal-getters for india in the second leg of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers play-off match at the indira Gandhi Athletics Stadium.
india won the home and away tie 7-1 on aggregate to book a berth in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. they had beaten Laos 1-0 in the first leg in Vientiane on June 2.
they had to play in the play-offs after finishing at the bottom of their group in the joint preliminary round of the 2018 FiFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
the victory will ease a lot of pressure on coach Stephen Constantine whose future has been under threat after a string of poor shows by the national team.
india paid the price of relying on their off- side trap as Sihavong found himself unmarked inside the box and sent a low left footer past goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
the game changing moment came in the 41st minute with coach Constantine replacing young Udanta Singh by Jackichand Singh whose arrival turned the match on its head.
india played some of their best football under Constantine and after Lalpekhlua’s leveller, never looked back.