India edged Macau 2-0 away from home to secure their third straight win in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers on Tuesday. Mumbai City FC striker Balwant Singh netted a brace in the second-half to guide India to a much-needed win.
The visiting side, who were coming into the game on the back of a 10-match unbeaten streak, was expected to have a cake walk against a much lower-ranked Macau side but the home side managed to frustrate Stephen Constantine's men from the very beginning.
Macau adopted a defensive approach right from the kick-off relying completely on counter-attacks and India struggled to create chances in the first half before Balwant Singh's introduction in the second half turned things in India's favour.
On getting the full points despite a sloppy performance, coach Stephen Constantine said, "Congratulations on the victory. It was very difficult to break down their defence. It is a very valuable win for us. And we stay on top of Group A with nine points. It was very hard to break them down as they were defending with eight or nine men. So we are happy with the 2-0 victory.''
Balwant Singh, who has made quite an impact after being recalled to the national side after a long time, offered India an extra edge in attack and was duly praised by the Brit. “Balwant scored two goals tonight. He did what he was asked to do. He could have scored four but I will take two," said the gaffer.