5 best performers for the Indian National Football Team in 2017
2017 has been an intense year for Indian football.
2017 has been a breakthrough year for Indian football. From successfully hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup to qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup without getting beaten, India and the national team have come a long way.
The good run of form has also succeeded in taking the country's FIFA ranking to 105, even crossing the 100 mark at one point in time in the year. A sensational rise from the 170th spot in the previous year means manager Stephen Constantine deserves huge credit.
There have been some brilliant matches played by the national side this year which has helped them qualify for the Asia Cup with ease. The quality of football has improved and so has the level of competition in the squad. With the year coming to a close soon, let's take a look at the five best performers:
#5 Balwant Singh
The Mumbai City FC striker has been in fine touch recently in the ISL. He has had a good run of games in the national team as well, scoring three goals in the calendar year. Not a regular in the Indian side under Stephen Constantine due to form and fitness issues, he made the most of his chances in 2017.
In a tri-nation tournament organized to get the players match fit for the Asian Cup qualifiers, Balwant Singh scored the winner in a hard fought 2-1 win over Mauritius. He followed that up with a brace in a tricky away fixture against Macau in an Asian Cup qualifier.
India won that game 2-0 with Singh the best player on the field. Also, his substitution was the turning point in India's 4-1 win over Macau as the Blues scored three second-half goals.