AFC Asian Cup 2019 | India players rated and slated from their 2-0 loss to UAE

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AFC Asian Cup 2019 | India players rated and slated from their 2-0 loss to UAE

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Subhayan Dutta

Last Friday at 4:15 PM

India rued their missed chances and hard luck as UAE scored on either half of the game to get their crucial first win of the tournament as they took a massive step towards qualification to the knockout stage. India, however, has a realistic chance of creating history after yesterday’s performance.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (8/10) – While the Indian custodian had few criticisms after the manner in which he had conceded the lone goal against Thailand, he was at his best against UAE. He showed acrobatic reflexes to collect the ball out of thin air that slashed UAE’s threat by half and his well-measured long balls created numerous chances for India. He couldn’t really do anything about the two goals.

Subhasish Bose (7/10) - A hot and cold game for the full back but he had a tough job keeping UAE’s wingers in check who were making dangerous runs behind the defence at every instance. However, Subhasish could hardly make any contribution when going up.

Anas Edathodika (6/10) - Not his usual convictive self at the night as he was found losing the ball numerous times that gave UAE all the confidence in the world to attack after a dominant quarter or two by India initially. UAE’s opening goal had a lot to do with Anas leaving his man for Sandesh Jhingan to handle as he took cover behind. Eventually, the ball deflected into the goal off his foot.

Sandesh Jhingan (7/10) – As is always the case with him, Jhingan looked to be sturdy and brimming with confidence when India was on top of their game pushing high up. But, apart from that, he looked little dangerous, despite his aggressive headers near the half-way line. He got a brilliant chance in the end from a free-kick but he could only manage it to the cross bar.

Pritam Kotal (8/10) – Among the back four, Kotal was definitely the most visible as he created numerous chances despite having Ismaeel Al Ahmadi to take care of. However, as far his crossing is concerned, he needs to improve massively. But, he gets points for getting into positions.

Pronay Halder (7/10) – The ATK midfielder was India’s main man in the last match but his job was pretty much lessened with UAE preferring the flanks time and again, hinting that Zachheroni had done his homework well. However, Halder’s defensive attributes were handy from set-pieces.

Anirudh Thapa (6/10) – His performance against Thailand was the best Stephen Constantine could extract from him. India high pressing gameplay might suit Thapa against slower opponents, but against Thailand who had someone like Mubarak in the midst, Thapa’s role needed to be more defined. His dead balls were, however, commendable at times.

Udanta Singh (8/10) – Clearly the best among the Indian forwards yesterday with sheer attacking intent whenever he got the ball at his feet. He showered in crosses from the right relentlessly and even came close to scoring as his thumping shot hit the crossbar. He was handy defensively as well as he won quite a number of balls high up the field.

Aashqiue Kuruniyan (6/10) – One of those off days for the youngster where nothing he did went his way. And the fact that Constantine kept him on the field long after his legs were gone only shows how much India’s high pressing tactics rely on him. However, he needed to be subbed on early as most of his crosses were blocked time and again and he ended giving away possession taking away the little chances India managed in the dying minutes.

Sunil Chhetri (7/10) – Chhetri was quite brilliant with his through ball when he came down to collect Sandhu’s long goal kicks, as he was seen putting Kuruniyan through a one on one in the early minutes and numerous similar chances later on. But, this game will be remembered for his two easy misses, which could have seen the game differently.

Halicharan Narzary (5/10) – The winger could do very little on the game whatsoever and was largely absent throughout the first half. Apart from the few fouls, Narzary wasn’t found in the game at all and was rightly substituted in half-time.

Jeje Lalpekhlua (6/10) – He came on at a time when India had just ended the previous half on a high with numerous chances going their way. Hence, his introduction with the sole instruction of just finishing up top was loud, clear, and obvious. But, to his misfortune, India was not even half as dangerous in the second half as they were in the first.

Rowlin Borges (NA) – He came on in the 70th minute, which was more of Constantine’s fault for his physicality was exactly what India needed then. He had 20 minutes to make an impact and UAE had grown immensely confident by then.

Jackichand Singh (NA) – Not long enough to rate.

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