All’s well that ends well. This makes much more sense after the first round exit of India from the group stages. A hopeful ambition of qualifying from the group stage for the first time in the Asian Cup history turned into a distant dream with crashing out in the unlikeliest of situation.
Everything went against India with them losing and Thailand drawing against the group favourites UAE. The dreary result had some brilliant performances for India to take some positives out from the tournament.
Let’s have a look at the top 5 Indian performers in the Asian Cup 2019.
#5 Anirudh Thapa
A brilliant performance in the first two games to see himself benched in the most crucial fixture of the tournament. Stephen Constantine got it all wrong to bench the most versatile midfielder after two great performances.
Subbing off Thapa in the second half against UAE completely changed the dynamics of the team. Stephen Constantine didn’t learn from his mistakes.
Pronay Halder and Thapa made a great pair in midfield, both complementing each other with their talent and abilities. Thapa linked up beautifully with the front four which helped India to score 4 goals against Thailand.
The calm and composed lob above the goalkeeper to score the third goal for India against Thailand is his highlight for the tournament.
Matches played - 3 (1)
Goals - 1
Assists - 0
#4 Pronay Halder
A warrior. An underrated player who gives his all for the team. Chasing every ball, breaking off opponent’s play in the middle of the park, doing all the dirty, untidy things for his team, putting in some beautiful diagonal balls, he does all that can be asked of a central defensive midfielder.
A humongous performance in the last match was marred by his tackle on Hamad Al-Shamsan at the last minutes of the match to concede a penalty and thus throw India out of the Asian Cup. Performance against Bahrain is his highlight for the tournament.
Matches Played - 3