Intercontinental Cup 2018 Final: India vs Kenya Player Ratings
India faced Kenya in the finals of the Intercontinental Cup in Mumbai today. Even though India got the better of Kenya in the group stages, the Hamaree Stars couldn’t be taken likely especially after India lost to New Zealand.
India started with the same set of eleven players that faced Kenya in the group stages. The return of Pronoy Halder in midfield helped India keep hold of the ball, allowing Anirudh Thapa to venture forward. Sandesh Jhingan and Anas returned as the centre backs after being rested for the New Zealand game.
The match started on a bright note for India with India taking the lead in the 8th minute and then doubling the lead in the 29th minute. Both the goals were scored by captain Sunil Chhetri.
The first half ended with the scoreboard reading 2-0 in favour of India.
Kenya came back strongly in the second half and created more than a few chances in the second half, and gave India a run for their money. India eventually won the game 2-0 and also went on to win the Intercontinental Cup.
On that note, let's take a look at the player ratings from today’s game.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (8.5/10): Gurpreet didn’t have many saves to make during the first half. He did make a superb save in the early stages of the second half to deny Kenya a sure goal. Gurpreet’s distribution was top notch today, as nearly all his long balls found their mark perfectly.
Pritam Kotal (7/10): Pritam had a quiet first half, but was kept busy in the second half. He did make a couple of last-ditch tackles to keep Kenya at bay. He could have done better in helping out the wingers during attacks.
Anas (8/10): Anas looked solid in defence today, and rarely gave the Kenyan forwards space inside the box. His long balls were a delight to watch today, as he used them brilliantly and played the long balls only when necessary.
Sandesh Jhingan (7.5/10): Jhingan kept his name as a rock intact today, as he kept the defence steady. Jhingan also showcased his skills as a born leader, by leading the defence brilliantly. He also helped the team play out of defence and made sure they didn’t waste possession.
Subasish Bose (7/10): Subasish has been having a very good tournament and had another good game today. He didn’t allow the wingers to get past him and put in crosses. Subasish also ventured forward and helped out Halicharan in the attack.
Pronoy Halder (7/10): Pronoy showcased how important he is for team India during the Intercontinental Cup. He had a big physical presence in the middle of the park and helped out the defence on numerous occasions. He did have problems in the second half though.
Anirudh Thapa (8/10): Anirudh Thapa was absolutely outstanding in the first 15 minutes. It was his cleverly taken free kick in the 8th minute that helped India take the lead. His presence in midfield was immense. His passing accuracy though did decrease during the second half, he made up for it with his work rate.
Halicharan Narzary (6/10): Had a high work rate during the game, and helped out the defence whenever called upon. Halicharan’s passing and crossing though, was poor tonight. He was overrun in the second half and was rightly substituted.
Udanta Singh (7/10): Udanta has shown it time and again that he is irreplaceable in this Indian team. He ran his heart out down the flanks and was a handful for the Kenyan defenders. He was a bit subdued in the second half though.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (6.5/10): Jeje, to be honest, didn’t have the best of games. He was outmuscled by the Kenyan defenders and couldn’t really hold up play properly.
Sunil Chhetri (9/10): Captain Sunil Chhetri turned out to be the main man again, as it was his brace that helped India beat Kenya and win the Intercontinental Cup. Chhetri apart from scoring goals, helped the team keep possession whenever possible. He also tracked back and helped out the midfielders in regaining possession.
Balwant Singh (5.5/10): Balwant came in the second half in place of Jeje but failed to make an impact on the game. He did have a great chance to score but failed to hit the target. His link-up play with Chhetri was poor. He also gifted possession to Kenya on a number of occasions.
Rowlin Borges (6.5/10): Rowlin came in for Halicharan in the second half and had an effect on closing down the gaps in midfield and defence as India looked to shut shop. Rowlin and Pronoy helped out the defence brilliantly, especially at a time when Kenya was attacking in full steam.
Ashique K (N/A): Ashique came on as a late substitute for Udanta Singh and didn’t have much to do during the game.
Lalruatthara (N/A): Lalruatthara came on in the 90th min mainly to play down the clock.
Narayan Das (N/A): Narayan replaced the injured Subasish Bose in the dying moments of the game.
Laldanmawia Ralte (N/A): Danmawia Ralte became the 41st player to make his Indian National team debut under Stephen Constantine. He came on just seconds before the final whistle was blown.