Balwant brace helps India beat Macau 2-0

The forward, who replaced Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the 46th minute, scored two goals in the second half to guide India to victory.

India celebrates one of Balwant's strikes.

Riding on two goals in the second half, India beat Macau 2-0 in the Group A fixture of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup third round qualifiers at the Estadio Campo Desportivo here on Tuesday.

Macau created tense moments in the first half, holding the Blue Tigers 0-0. India had a chance in the 29 minute but Sunil Chhetri’s long-range effort hit the post. The host missed to convert a free-kick from a close spot the next minute; Choi’s effort missed the target by miles.

The visitor had couple of more chances but Jeje’s header landed on the roof of the net, while Narzary’s cross (that reached Chhetri) was kept out by the Macau defenders.

Balwant Singh — who replaced Eugeneson Lyngdoh in the 46 minute — became India’s hero with a brace. He drew first blood with a header into the back of the net in the 57 minute. Left-back Narayan Das assisted the forward.

Later, in the 82 minute, the 30-year-old stole possession and got the better of the custodian, who remained ahead of the goalline.

This was India’s third win on the trot and now, they are comfortably placed on top of Group A with nine points. The Blues will meet the same opponents in the return fixture on October 10.

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