India to face Laos in AFC Asian Cup qualifier play-offs

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Image Courtesy: © AIFF

India to face Laos in AFC Asian Cup qualifier play-offs

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Arun S Kaimal

04/07/2016

The Indian football team will face Laos in the 2016 AFC Asian Cup qualifier play-offs after they were drawn against each other in the draw, which was held at Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. India, who are ranked 160, finished at the bottom of Group D, while Laos ranked 178th finished last in Group G.

In the 2018 FIFA World Cup/ 2019 Asia Cup qualifiers, India managed just three points out of a possible 24 losing seven out of the eight matches in the group. Their solitary win came against Guam at Bengaluru in November.

The top 12 teams from the 2018 FIFA World Cup/ 2019 Asia Cup qualifiers automatically qualified for the group stage of the Asian Cup, while the next 24 teams in the standings will have to fight for the remaining 12 spots. A win against Laos will give India entry to the group stage of the qualifiers to fight for a spot in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. If they lose the two-legged tie, then India will have to go through a second play-off to earn a place in the qualifier.

India will travel to Laos on June 2 before welcoming them to the country to play the home leg on June 7. The venues for both the games are yet to be finalized and will be notified at a later date.

Speaking to www.aiff.com, National Coach Stephen Constantine mentioned it will be a “difficult match.”

“It is a tricky draw. Laos are never to be underestimated. They have been in a very difficult group in the (Preliminary Round 2) and gave a good account of themselves considering the Teams they faced,” he said. “We will have to be at our best.”

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