Vientiane: India defeated hosts Laos riding on a goal by striker Jeje Lalpekhlua in an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup first leg qualifier here on Thursday.
Jeje scored the winning goal in the 54th minute through a header.
India host Laos at Guwahati for the return leg on June 7.
India enjoyed majority of ball possession but were unable to achieve breakthrough.
The opportunities were obtained by Jeje and midfielder on several occasions.
Jeje was caught offside after getting into scoring opportunities.
Lyngdoh also blasted wide twice from favourable positions.
India began brightly after the break and got dividend nine minutes after play resumed.
Jeje, who has been in fine form in the domestic season, opportunistically struck with a fine header off an Udanta Singh cross.
laos, lacklustre till then, tried to get their act together after conceding.
They went close to scoring several times but never threatened enough to score the equaliser.
India's defenders, led by Arnab Mondal, also assuredly stuck to their task, ekeing out an important win that would enable them enjoy an away goal during their return leg match at home.