In the third game of the hosts in the FIFA U-17 World Cup, the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi witnessed an enthralling match between India and Ghana, despite the victors trouncing the hosts 4-0.
The game was not as the scorecard suggests. India were in the driver's seat during the first 30 minutes of the game, but Ghanaian players soon claimed the dominance and showed their true form as they displayed some relentless attacking football throughout the next 60 minutes.
However, the Indian players fought till the end and were denied only by the physicality of Ghana which helped them establish their dictating presence on the pitch. Let's have a look at how our players fared against Ghana.
Dheeraj Singh - 6
The Indian goalkeeper was substantial at the back. He was up to the level in denying Ghanaian attacks, but contrary to his performances in the earlier matches, Dheeraj made few glitches, providing the Ghana attackers chances to exploit.
However, he was stern, as he managed to play through some minor injury. He was defeated by twice by Ayiah and also conceded twice in the latter stages of the game, shattering his performance at the back.
Anwar Ali - 6.5
The tenacious defender at the back for India, Anwar Ali performed fairly for the Colts with some dazzling tackles and fine anticipations. A player well known for his aerial ability, Anwar Ali wardened the defence against the combative Ghanaians. However, he failed to thwart the attempts Ayiah duly converted and was found to be tired in the second half as he also had a good share in the responsibility of conceding two more goals.
Jitendra Singh - 5
The AIFF Elite Academy product played his heart out for the country and had some good moments in the match as he was able to curb away some Ghana attacks. However, identical to Anwar Ali, he also failed to thwart the Ghana attacks which ended up as goals in their favour.
Boris Singh - 7
One of the effective players in the pitch for India, Boris Singh had a decent game for the hosts. His quick, tenacious runs often perturbed the Ghana defenders, as he swirled the balls into the box, but no Indian poachers were available to convert them.
Sanjeev Stalin - 6.5
Akin to that of Boris, Sanjeev also was an effective presence on the left wing for India. The presence of Sanjeev dodged some nasty attacks by Ghana. The set-piece specialist was handed with few such chances, but Bengaluru FC's ardent fan was unable to pull the trigger to the advantage of India.
Amarjit Singh - 5
The skipper had a bad day at the office as he failed to outdo the Ghanaian midfield. He was seen playing in a good tempo for India in the first half but was outclassed by the physique of Ghana players as the game wore on.
He was replaced by Rahim Ali, as Matos might have found him ineffective in the ground. However, Amarjit's name will go down in the history as the first captain of India at a FIFA World Cup.
Suresh Singh - 6.5
One of the best performers for India, Suresh Singh did his best to dictate the game from the centre of the park but was held by the robust Ghana defence. He created rapid, agile movements for India, but failed to launch fatal crosses that could pierce past the solid backline of the Africans.
Jeakson Thounaojam - 5
The scorer of India's first goal in a FIFA World Cup, Jeakson was marked heavily by Ghana. He seemed feeble tonight for India, as his midfield play throughout the 90 minutes was not enough to secure India's spot in the knock-out stage.
However, Jeakson had a fine game in the first half but was completely outrun by the opponents in the second half.
Nongdamba Naorem - 6.5
Naorem performed some cheeky display for the hosts in the game with fast movements, especially in the first half. He was found to be relentless, but the remorseless Ghanaian defenders were not ready to make any holes in their stabilized boat.
Aniket Jadav - 5
The centre-forward tried to penetrate the Ghana defence with some intelligent movements but failed miserably. He faded as the game progressed, and that might be the obvious reason why Matos replaced him with Lalengmawia.
Rahul KP - 7.5
One of the best there in the pitch for India tonight, the versatile player plied his trade as a right-sided attacker. A player who has the ability to move up and down with aplomb, Rahul helped the Indian midfield a lot, while he also made not some solid contributions to the defence.
He combined well with Aniket and later with Lalengmawia to produce some good attempts but was denied by the Ghana attackers. With his dazzling performance, Rahul KP might have caught the attention of different scouts.
Rahim Ali - Not Available
Lalengmawia - Not Available
Ninthoinganba Meetei - Not AvailablePublished 12 Oct 2017, 23:05 IST