India's colts were impressive in their third game, but yet again couldn't back it up with a favourable result. A sucker punch in the 95th minute gave China the win (from a 2v1 counter attack at that), but the young lads should take heart from their performances – which have been truly promising – while working on the one aspect that they seeem to be missing – ruthlessness.
Here we take a look at how the lads from the Home Side performed -
Dheeraj Singh - 7.5/10
The goalkeeper was in typically excellent form. He came out well, claimed high balls with confidence and pulled out the key saves when he had to – including a particularly excellent one from Tao Qianglong's swerving freekick. He also distributed the ball well from the back, and is a key ingredient of Nicolai Adam's passing philosophy. Couldn't do much about the Chinese goal.
Boris Singh – 9/10
The converted full back was India's best player on the day. He still needs to work on his positioning at right-back, but he was brilliant going forward – bombing down the right flank with boundless energy and no little skill to back it up. He played a couple of sublime passes – a delightful little backheel to Abhijit in the 67th minute being the pick of the bunch.
Jitendra Singh – 6.5/10
Solid and strong, the dependable centre-back put in a good shift and kept the Chinese strikers at bay for most of the match.
Mohammed Rakip – 6/10
Jitendra's centre back partner put in a good shift as well, but he did allow his strikers to get the better of him a couple of times. Will need to work on his positional awareness and ability to track his striker
Sanjeev Stalin – 8/10
The flying left-back complemented Boris (on the other flank) very well. He bombed forward constantly while maintaining his defensive discipline – not the easiest task. Came close to scoring twice with his exemplary set-piece delivery– once on the 77th minute when a wicked inswinging corner almost bounced into the net and the other on the 94th minute when his fantastic free kick drew an even better fingertip save from Qi Yuxi in the Chinese goal.
Ninthoiganba Meetei (Off 32') – 7/10
The right winger was in sparkling form and made some driving runs down the right – combining well with the flying Boris Singh in his time on the pitch. His time on the pitch was limited to just half-an-hour as an errant tackle from Wang Xiangjun knocked him down injured.
Suresh Singh – 7/10
The midfielder was promising in patches, but a number of misplaced passes didn't allow him to shine with the sort of consistency that is required in the middle of the field.
Amarjit Singh – 6.5/10
Was even more culpable of playing sloppy, misplaced passes than his central midfield partner. Lost the ball too on occasion as he tried to overcomplicate the simple things.
Aniket Jadhav (Off 58') – 6.5/10
The winger had an atypically quiet performance, putting in poor crosses and not taking on his fullback as often as is his wont. He swapped wings frequently (especially once Meetei was taken off) but to little effect. Jadhav was invisible during India's batches and Adam taking him off on the hour mark was a testament of that.
Komal Thatal – 8/10
India's lively little playmaker was a nuisance throughout for the Chinese defence. An audacious attempt from distance with the outside of his boot – that flew just wide – was the showpiece moment of a performance that highlighted all the 15 year old Sikkimese midfielder. Was a constant threat and created chances with his usual combination of bustling energy and skilful passing.
Aman Chetri (Off 66') – 7.5/10
The target man had an off day in terms of attempts at goal, but he ran his socks off for the team. Many of India's best chances were created because of Chetri's motto that no cause is lost enough for him to abandon. Was typically smart in his off the ball movement and never let the Chinese defenders rest on their heels.
Shubham Sarangi ( On 32') – 6/10
He missed a glorious chance to open India's scoring when he headed a rebound wide from two yards out – while admittedly unbalanced due to heavy Chinese pressure. The substitute had promising moments and made a few good runs down the wings.
Narender (On 58') – 5/10
The midfielder was anonymous after his introduction in place of the disappointing Aniket Jadhav
Abhijit Sarkar (On 66') – 6/10
He was quiet but continued in the vein of the man he replaced – Aman Chetri – with his selfless running and constant harrying of the opposition defence
More Indian Football news, transfer rumours, analysis and features at Sportskeeda.com