The East Asian country of Macau, which is known more for its mega casinos than for its football, is getting ready to face India on 5th September in an important AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifier.
The last few days, however, has been nightmarish for the island, with typhoon Hato inflicting severe damage to the residents, killing at least eight people and leaving most areas flooded.
Stephen Constantine's troops, which is expected to land there around 1:30 pm Indian Standard Time (IST) on Saturday, may have to face a tropical storm on Sunday, even though it's expected to be of a lesser intensity.
Hong Kong and Macau brace for the third tropical storm in less than 2 weeks. — Al Jazeera Weather (@AJEWeather) September 2, 2017
Macau had planned to host Malaysia last week for a friendly match ahead of the tie against India, but it had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour due to the typhoon, leaving both sides underprepared for their upcoming qualifiers.
Chan Hiu Ming, the former Kitchee SC player who was named the head coach of Macau in late July, has been overseeing a preparatory camp for the last ten days with most of the first team players joining on the first day itself.
India are fresh from winning a three-nation tournament in Mumbai, where they defeated Mauritius and drew with St Kitts and Nevis - a result which was later termed as a 'wake-up call' by the gaffer.
The Blue Tigers have won both their matches against Myanmar and Kyrghyzstan in the current round of the qualifiers while Macau are going through a five match winless streak, having registered their last win in November last year.
Macau squad: He Wenhui, Feng Zhiheng, Zheng Zhenjan, Liu Bajian, Chen, Shenghao, Li Zijian, Li Jiahao, Wu Yu, Cai, Maersk, Li Jia, Lin Yidong, Huang Hualin, Shanyan, Peng Zihen, Linga, He Zifeng, Zhang Haishan, Liang Jiaheng, Amway, Li Jinhong
India squad: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Subrata Paul, Albino Gomes, Pritam Kotal, Lalruatthara, Sandesh Jhingan, Anas Edathodika, Arnab Mondal, Salam Ranjan Singh, Narayan Das, Jerry Lalrinzuala, Udanta Singh, Jackichand Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Eugeneson Lyngdoh, Rowllin Borges, Md. Rafique, Germanpreet Singh, Anirudh Thapa, Halicharan Narzary, Jeje Lalpekhlua, Sunil Chhetri, Robin Singh, Balwant Singh.