Intercontinental Cup 2019, India 1-1 Syria: 5 Hits & Flops
#1 Hit - Rahul Bheke
Igor Stimac once again took a chance at defence, leaving out Adil Khan and Subhasish Bose. The replacements came in the form of Rahul Bheke and young Narender Gahlot. However, Bheke took the additional responsibility on his shoulder to showcase India's best defensive performance in the tournament.
It was indeed a challenge for the Bengaluru FC defender to maintain a backline with out-of-form Pritam Kotal and Mandar Rao Dessai and inexperienced Gahlot. But, he succeeded at his duty making the necessary contributions.
The 28-year-old showed perfect discipline making timely interceptions and clearances. It was Bheke who dealt with the balls coming in from the full-backs' mistakes.
Even when Syrian forwards sprinted forward with the ball, Bheke was in position to tackle the ball. It was the first time in the tournament, India managed to maintain compactness in the defence without Sandesh Jhingan.