India faced their first loss of the Qualifiers to United Arab Emirates credit to a late penalty. The hosts from the Middle East took the lead against the Blues late on. Igor Stimac’s men looked up to the mark early on, but proceedings took a turn in the second half.
India took a more conservative approach and had to suffer the consequences for sitting back far too deep in AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers.
Player Ratings : India v United Arab Emirates
Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem – 8.0: Dheeraj Singh was exceptional all through the match, barring the penalty. He was India’s best player on the field, making two impressive saves in both halves to deny the hosts from taking the advantage. The FC Goa keeper recorded a splendid six collections, five saves and five clearances.
Asish Rai – 7.0: The Hyderabad FC wonderkid made overlaying runs and pinged in pinpoint crosses into the area. He made two interceptions, four clearances and also made a brilliant last-ditch challenge.
Deepak Tangri – 7.0: It was another good match for Tangri as he was solid in defence. The Mohun Bagan star produced six clearances and an important shut off against the hosts.
Narender Gahlot – 7.5: The man from Jamshedpur FC proved to be the best in the Blues’ backline. He recorded nine clearances, the most by an Indian player along with a tackle and two interceptions.
Akash Mishra – 7.0: Akash continued with his string of good performances. He started off a few menacing attacks with his raiding runs and defended well too. Throughout the match, he produced five interceptions, six clearances and a block.
Lalengmawia – 7.0: Apuia, operating as a holding midfielder, was calm and collected while in possession. He obstructed two shots, made as many important passes and had a shot coupled with four interceptions.
Suresh Singh Wangjam – 6.5: The Indian captain had a poor showing by his standards. Suresh put forward three key passes and made two interceptions, but gave away the penalty through which UAE won.
Jeakson Singh – 6.5 – Jeakson may have played the entire game but he achieved a very average match. He made just two interceptions and clearances each.
Vikram Pratap Singh – 7.5: Vikram Singh was his energetic self and put a good foot forward. He had an impressive work rate and even tracked back to aid his wing-back. He posed problems to the UAE backline many times with his speed and footwork.
Rahim Ali – 6.5: Rahim Ali was unable to have any major impact in the attacking third. However, he dropped back deep to assist his backline and made three clearances while doing so.
Rahul KP – 7.5: Rahul constantly troubled UAE from the left flank. He too dropped back to aid his wing-back and also won back possession many times. When he found the net, it was disallowed. Defensively, he made two clearances and four interceptions.
Sumit Rathi – 6.0: Sumit Rathi came off the bench to replace Vikram. He was instructed to fill in at left-back. He recorded three clearances and majorly blundered, which helped UAE win the penalty.
Princeton Rebello – 6.5: He came in for Asish Rai and united with Amarjit and Jeakson in midfield. Princeton strung together a couple of key passes in the little time he got.
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