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India 1-1 Bangladesh: Player Ratings | FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Karthik Raj
ANALYST
Feature
15 Oct 2019, 23:56 IST

Adil Khan's 88th-minute equaliser gave hope of a thrilling win but it was not India's day in the end
Adil Khan's 88th-minute equaliser gave hope of a thrilling win but it was not India's day in the end

On a day that was expected to be a spectacle at the iconic Salt Lake Stadium considering that a packed crowd was ready to support the Blue Tigers, Jamal Bhuyan and his men's gritty performance helped Bangladesh go away with their first point of the qualifiers. It could have been much worse for India if Adil Khan hadn't equalised with just two minutes remaining in regulation time as Bangladesh managed to frustrate India for the majority of the night.

Like how it has been for a number of years, India started on a very slow note with the back four committing too many mistakes as they held onto the ball for far too long against a visiting side that was intent on pressing hard. In fact, Rahul Bheke was pretty lucky to survive a potential penalty as he put in an ill-timed tackle but the referee's leniency ensured that India weren't pushed behind in the very first minute.

Bheke and Adil Khan continued to make more mistakes as time went on but luckily they weren't made to pay for it. After promising to score on a few occasions, Bangladesh finally broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute with Saad Uddin heading in the ball from close range after Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had messed up while trying to catch Jamal Bhuyan's free-kick from the right-wing.

Going forward, Anas Edathodika, Adil Khan and Anirudh Thapa tried to target the Bangladeshi defence with long-balls but they didn't get much success.

Skipper Sunil Chhetri and young striker Manvir Singh were also guilty of missing their half-chances at a time when the Indian players' shoulders were dropping very quicky in front of the determined Bangladeshi team.

On the other hand, apart from the Jamie Day-coached side's compactness at the back, the young Bangladeshi team was also impressive with their counter-attacks and intelligent pressing. Their fitness and concentration levels also rarely dipped except for the late equaliser from India wherein Adil Khan was poorly marked.

When the referee blew the whistle after 90 + 5 minutes of mind-sapping football, Jamie Day's grin reflected how it was a point gained for Bangladesh and two points lost for the Blue Tigers as the home side's World Cup Qualifiers journey took a massive hit.

Player Ratings

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu - Hero against Qatar, India's No.1 custodian had a disappointing game as his individual mistake resulted in Bangladesh's goal in the first half. After India gave away a silly free-kick, Bangladesh skipper Jamal Bhuyan whipped in a threatening ball and Gurpreet failed to read the trajectory of the ball.

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With him failing to catch the ball, Saad Uddin was at the right place at the time to put his side in front with a header - 4

Rahul Bheke - Nervous and indecisive, Rahul Bheke's inconsistent displays under the Blue shirt continued. Apart from leaving a lot of space behind for the Bangladeshi left-winger Mohammad Ibrahim to use, Bheke's passing also left under trouble on quite a few occasions - 3

Adil Khan - Helped India save the blushes with a sweetly struck header off Brandon Fernandes' corner kick when only a few minutes were remaining on the clock, Adil Khan endured a mixed outing against Bangladesh. He could have been guilty of conceding an early goal when an intended back pass didn't have enough power to reach Gurpreet but luckily Bangladesh's #7 Biplo Ahmed couldn't convert the chance. Apart from that, Adil also looked shaky under high-balls and just like his defensive peers, he was also slow in decision-making. Could have conceded more goals on another day - 5

Anas Edathodika - One half of former coach Stephen Constantine's strong defensive duo, Anas Edathodika comeback from retirement didn't go as well as he would have wished for. Never the quickest on the field but the ATK center-back looked particularly out of rhythm against Bangladesh. Passes were poorly weighted and took too much time to decide his eventual choices - 3

Mandar Rao Dessai - Worked decently for FC Goa through the back-end of the 2018/19 ISL season, worked against Qatar but the match against Bangladesh showed just why Mandar Rao Dessai at left-back is not only a risky move for India's defensive compactness but also how it results in failing to utilise the Goan left-winger's main-strength - driving forward and opening up opponent defences - 4

Anirudh Thapa - Possibly Anirudh Thapa's worst game for the Indian team and his sub-par performance had a massive impact on the team's overall performance. With no defensive mid-fielder to protect himself and Sahal Abdul Samad's attacking forays, it was always going to be an interesting challenge but surprisingly it was the intended long balls and diagonals that turned out to be the most disappointing aspect of the 21-year-old's game. His performance only got worse in the 2nd half as most of his passes only met Bangladeshi players. Was substituted for Raynier Fernandes and that just summed up a bad night for one of India's key cogs - 4

Sahal Abdul Samad - Performed better than most of his team-mates but Sahal Abdul Samad wasn't still at his creative best as the Bangladeshi defenders ensured that his mazy dribbles didn't find the desired end product. Part of his problem was also the fact that India didn't get him involved due to the long-ball approach - 5

Udanta Singh - Udanta Singh has always been known for his lightning pace but he has also often disappointed with his efforts in the final third, be it crossing or shooting. Tuesday saw one of Udanta's most disappointing performances in a while as he delivered harmless crosses for most of the match. Performance improved in the second half but it should have been far better on an overall basis - 4

Ashique Kuruniyan - If Udanta disappointed on the right flank, Ashique Kuruniyan was the same on the left side. Crossing was far from ideal and often overdid what he had to by trying to dribble his way to find some space in the box. After a while, his tricks became too predictable to not decipher. Ended the game at left-back with Mandar Rao Dessai being substituted for Brandon Fernandes - 4

Sunil Chhetri - On most other days, India's talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri could have had at least two goals in his kitty but he had a poor game when measured according to the lofty standards he has set for himself. On their part, the Bangladeshi center-backs Yeasin Khan and Rahmat Mia made sure that Chhetri only got half-chances but one would have still expected him to bury them. In the end, he cut a frustrated figure as he couldn't help his team achieve a last-gasp victory - 5

Manvir Singh - Just like his skipper, Manvir Singh was also neutralised and only received half-chances. After impressing one and all with his hold-up play against the Asian champions Qatar, Manvir Singh couldn't repay the faith shown by coach Igor Stimac on a day where he got a rare starting spot - 4

Substitutes-

Brandon Fernandes - Took some time to settle in as he misplaced a few passes in the middle of the park but his game improved as the final minutes of the game were closing in. Linked-up well with Chhetri and Ashique Kuruniyan but the tightly-knit Bangladeshi backline didn't present any opportunity to penetrate. Eventually, provided the assist for India's late equaliser through a corner-kick - 4

Raynier Fernandes - Brought on for Anirudh Thapa who ran out of gas by the 68th minute, Raynier Fernandes was another throw of the dice from Igor Stimac to ensure that India take something from the game. Helped India keep the ball on the ground and that was something the team didn't do in the first half - 4

Lallianzuala Chhangte - Didn't get to do much in the few minutes he played.

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