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AFC Asian Cup 2019: India 0-1 Bahrain - 5 Talking Points as the Stephen Constantine era ends in tears

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7.39K   //    15 Jan 2019, 00:50 IST

#2 Sandesh Jhingan the warrior

Sandesh Jhingan was magnificent at the heart of the Indian defence
Sandesh Jhingan was magnificent at the heart of the Indian defence

If there was one player on the pitch that didn't deserve to lose, it was India's centre-back. My word, he was outstanding! Mohamed Al Romaihi came, he was met by Jhingan. Abdullah Yusuf came, he was met by Jhingan. Sami Al Husaini came, he was met by Jhingan.

He didn't deserve to lose that game. It didn't even start on a good note for him, as it took all of two minutes for him to lose his trusted lieutenant at the heart of the defence, with Anas Edathodika having to go off with a knee problem.

Jhingan goaded, coaxed, bellowed at Salam Ranjan Singh, and got the youngster to do his side of defensive work as well. But even that was secondary.

On what was a sad night for Indian football, Jhingan can walk off with his head held high. He was brave in the aerial duels, he was perfect with the timing of his tackles, he knew when to step up and attack the Bahraini attackers, he knew when to drop off and afford them respect.

It was flawless. It's a word that gets thrown around rather often in the footballing context, but that truly was a flawless performance from Jhingan. Pity about the result, but one thing's for sure, he's here to stay. As if he wasn't already.

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Bengaluru-based Indian Football aficionado.
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