Afghanistan 1-1 India: Hits and Flops from the encounter
- Here is a look at the players who impressed and those who failed to sparkle in India's draw against Afghanistan.
#3 Sunil Chhetri – Flop
To be fair, quite a few of the other Indian players could’ve easily enrolled themselves for this particular unwanted accolade. Yet, the Indian captain was accorded the dishonour, not just for a toothless display but also because so much was expected of him, especially against a defensively shaky Afghanistan side.
Deployed as the lone striker in a 4-2-3-1 system, Sunil Chhetri didn’t have a lot of joy down the middle as he invariably got outnumbered against the physical Afghan centre-backs. Additionally, India’s lethargic build-up play allowed Afghanistan to close him down superbly on countless occasions.
More importantly, though, Chhetri was guilty of missing India’s most gilt-edged opportunity when he fluffed his lines with the goal gaping. After Brandon had swung in another sumptuous corner, the Indian skipper found himself unmarked in the six-yard box and had the goal at his mercy. Yet, he somehow contrived to head the ball onto the bar, even when it seemed easier to make the net ripple.
And, while there were a few good touches in the middle third, he largely looked out of sorts in a rudderless offensive performance.
Moving forward though, India might have to be a little wary of fielding Chhetri as a single striker, especially against sides intent on defending in a deep block. However, on the night, the forward didn’t really help his cause by firing a blank when his team required a goal-scoring touch.