Balwant does the star turnSeptember 6, 2017
2-0 win helps India maintain its 100% record
Substitute striker Balwant Singh’s opportunistic second half double strike helped India beat Macau 2-0 in a group league encounter of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, taking its unbeaten run in international matches to 11.
The former Mohun Bagan goal poacher found the target in the 57th and 82nd minute as the ‘Blue Tigers’ won their third successive match in the qualifying tournament to maintain their pole position in the group with nine points.
Ranked 96th in the FIFA list, India was the overwhelming favourite against minnows Macau — currently ranked 183rd.
However, the home team managed to defend its citadel in the first half. The only notable scoring chance was in the 37th minute — a rasping left-footer from Eugenesen Lyngdoh that hit the horizontal. In the 57th minute, side-back Narayan Das, who had overlapped down the wide right, sent a floater inside the box.
Balwant, who replaced Lyngdoh at the change of ends, timed his jump to perfection as he angled his header with a marker on tow.
The second goal was more to do with a defensive lapse and Balwant showed his predatory skills, snatching a ball from the defender just outside the corner of the 18-yard box. From the corner of his eye, he saw that custodian Ho Man Fai was out of charge and his neat placement ensured an unassailable lead for the visiting team.
The result: Macau 0 lost to India 2 (Balwant Singh 57, 82) .