Intercontinental Cup 2018: India vs New Zealand, 5 Talking Points
After capitalising on a gifted opportunity thanks to an error from the All Whites’ goalkeeper, it was none other than our captain fantastic, Sunil Chhetri who scored India’s only goal of the night.
Conceding their first goal of the tournament in the form of an equaliser from New Zealand’s De Jong, who found the back of the back of the net only a couple of minutes after Chhetri’s goal. Moving deeper into the game, it was Fritz Schmid’s super sub, Moses Dyer who took the lead for his side until the final whistle of the game.
While Jeje took the field at the forty-five-minute mark to make a half-century of appearances in the colours of India, sadly, there wasn’t much even the Mizo Sniper could do to save India’s sinking ship against the Kiwis tonight.
As usual, the Blue Pilgrims and fans in Mumbai turned out in large numbers and created a splendid atmosphere around the stadium in Andheri, however, only to watch their favoured team to taste the first loss of their Intercontinental Cup campaign.
Here are five moments of significance from the fixture.
#1 Anirudh Thapa
The 20-year-old midfielder has been exceptional for the Blue Tigers throughout the tournament.
He has been extremely efficient, and with a display of such talent and resilience from the youngster, the future of Indian football certainly seems to be in good hands.
Succeeding the likes of his seniors such as Eugenson Lyngdoh, CK Vineeth, Calvin Lobo etc., Thapa seems to have the midfield department of the squad under control.
His performance not only against New Zealand tonight, but in the entire competition has been on point.
Him paired with his midfield partner, Pronoy Halder, have made a potent duo for the Indian side.
Thapa’s confidence on the ball, determination to win each and every tackle he involves himself in, and the fact that he doesn’t seem to shy away from always freeing himself and landing in position to fearless ask for the ball are qualities that have had his name doing the rounds of numerous experts.
Even though India lost out to an excessively attacking New Zealand side tonight, through his performance, Thapa proved that he means business and is here to make himself a permanent feature of Constantine’s tactics.