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India on right track, but mind the potholes

Sunil Chhetri: India's Batman without a Robin
Sunil Chhetri: India's Batman without a Robin.

Let's be honest, this Indian team has flaws.

The numbers are impressive but they don't tell the entire story. India have huffed, puffed, got the 'job done', but there are loopholes. Loopholes that, if not addressed, could fade the shining light. Based on the two Asian Cup qualifiers, both 1-0 wins, here are a few concerns Constantine would need to address before India take the pitch next against Macau on September 5.

The midfield

India's biggest weakness lies in midfield. In both games - Myanmar and...

While Chhetri scores winners, Gurpreet continues to lead India from the back

While Chhetri scored the winner, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made several crucial saves in India's 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan.
While Chhetri scored the winner, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made several crucial saves in India's 1-0 win over Kyrgyzstan.

Sunil Chhetri was named Man of the Match against Kyrgyzstan for his winning goal in India's Asian Cup qualifier in Bengaluru on Tuesday night but an alternative candidate could have been goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, whose role was just as important.

A series of saves in India's 1-0 win was only the latest of Sandhu's strong international performances, a run that has coincided with India's rise up the rankings of world football to 100. Sandhu has started almost all the matches, conceding two goals...

Chhetri winner puts India on course

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Sunil Chhetri was once again on target for India in a crucial game.

Sunil Chhetri's 69th-minute strike helped India beat Kyrgyzstan 1-0 in their second Group A game in the AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign. Having beaten Myanmar in their first game, the result helped India go top of the group with two wins out of two.

It was India's third win against Kyrgyzstan in as many games in all competitions, and Chhetri has scored in each of those games.

After being rested for the friendly against Nepal last week, Chhetri was handed a start alongside Jeje Lalpekhlua and Jackichand...

China keep alive their 2018 World Cup hopes, as Australia and Japan cruise

China completed a remarkable transformation in their 2018 World Cup AFC qualifying campaign after a 2-0 victory over Qatar saw them advance to the third round on the road to Russia. 

Facing elimination if they failed to win in Xian, China brought the game to life just before the hour. Qatari goalkeeper Amine Lecomte saved from point-blank range but was helpless as the rebound was hit against the underside of the bar and bounced out.

The ball found its way to Huang Bowen, whose shot on the turn...