KOLKATA (West Bengal) [India], June 14 (ANI): Indian men's football have a lot to achieve as they take on Hong Kong in the final match of the third round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers at the Salt Lake stadium in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The Blue Tigers are on the cusp of qualifying for back-to-back editions of the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in their history and need just a point against Hong Kong to secure their berth in the AFC Asian Cup finals. However, Igor Stimac's side who have won both their encounters so far would be looking for a clean sweep when they take on Hong Kong who as things stand top of Group D on goal difference.
India would settle for nothing less than three points which would guarantee them the top spot in the group, a pre-tournament target given their superior FIFA ranking. With the fans expected to make it a spectacle against at the Salt Lake stadium, there is even more motivation for the Indian team to end on a happy note in Kolkata and celebrate the AFC Asian Cup qualification with the fans.
Sunil Chhetri who has already scored three goals in the third round of the qualifiers will look for his 84th international goal that will tie him with Hungarian goalscoring legend Ferenc Puskas in the chart for the all-time leading international goalscorers. The Blue Tigers will be feeling a lot better about themselves after winning the first two group matches of the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and will look to make it three wins out of three in Kolkata
Hong Kong who come into the game in an identical form as the hosts would love to get one over their higher-ranked rivals and defy the FIFA charts to finish the group in the top spot. Hong Kong have been in excellent form in the first two matches and would feel confident of getting a result in the next match.
In the last fifteen international meetings, India have won seven while Hong Kong managed to win four, and the rest have ended in a draw. However, India have lost its last two meetings against Hong Kong, losing 1-2 in 2009 and 0-1 in 2010.