Intercontinental Cup 2019: India vs DPR Korea - Hits and Flops
An unimpressive show yet again from Igor Stimac's men resulted in a 5-2 loss for the Blue Tigers to DPR Korea in the second game of the Intercontinental Cup 2019. India conceded three quick goals in no time which almost ended the game before the break. However, India did pull one back after a change in the onfield XI but kept on conceding regular goals on the other side of the pitch against the run of play to end up getting defeated 5-2.
However, there were certainly positives to take from the game both individually and tactically. Some of the players after coming in the second-half lit up the flow of India's game and created several chances as opposed to a dismal first half. Some of the players failed to create any impact from the word-go while few others created an instant impact. Sportskeeda looks at the best and worst performers from the Indian side.
FLOP - Manvir Singh
The 23-year-old former Bengal Santosh Trophy Star and FC Goa forward was abysmal on the field. He was tasked with keeping the right flank and was asked to get in the balls which he miserably failed to do. He was outrun every time he had the ball and was unable to eke out any space to work himself out in the right flank. Singh was accordingly, forced to back-track and play a forceful backpass. The same play continued for the entirety of the second-half resulting in India no shots on target in the first 45 minutes.
Singh's first touch was also poor and he lost possession way too easily be being run over making a wrong pass altogether.
HIT - Udanta Singh
The Bengaluru Blue is known as the 'Flash' by the Bengaluru faithful and rightly so. Udanta Singh had an instant impact on the game and was on top form. His first involvement in the game involved a perfectly weighted ball to Rowllin Borges who made a brilliant run to find himself in a perfect place to shoot but did not go for the shot. Instead, he turned away and continued the play.
Udanta shifted to the right flank soon as it is usual position and kept on beating his markers on several occasions and delivered in many good crosses. One of those did find Sunil Chhetri who tapped it home to make it 2-4. Singh continued his pacey runs and was a real menace for the Korean left-back. If only had Udanta started the game in place of Manvir Singh.
FLOP - Adil Khan
The Pune City defender continued his inconsistent show from the Tajikistan game onto the Korean game as well. He made one good tackle, one good block and ended up fouling the opposition way too often and was beaten thrice by the Korean. Khan was relatively good in the air, cleared several balls with last ditch tackles but his positioning and timing of the sliding tackles were off the perfect mark. The North Koreans led by Jong II Gwan were toying with the Indian central defence.
HIT - Lallianzuala Chhangte
Brandon Fernandes was removed from his original central midfield role and was given the responsibility by Igor Stimac on the left flank, as the Croatian seemed to continue his experimentation with the side in a bid to find the perfect playing line-up. As expected, Brandon Fernandes misfired and looked off-colour in the entirety of his time on the pitch. He struggled to swing in the balls in from the left and was dispossessed on almost every occasion, he tried to cut-in from the left to create space for himself.
Brandon Fernandes was replaced by Lallianzuala Chhangte in the second-half and it resulted in instant impact. Chhangte scored in no time as he got a tantalising ball from Chhetri past a North Korean defensive error which the Dynamos winger slot it home with ease. Chhangte combined brilliantly with Thapa and Chhetri and created several chances of his own. One of the chances were when he made a brilliant dummy move of a Thapa ball to set up Chhetri on a plate which he failed to anticipate.
FLOP - Pritam Kotal
Kotal was given a chance to replace youngster Narender Gahlot and it was the perfect platform for the ATK defender to make his comeback trail into the Indian side but things went south in no time. He was struggling to keep pace with the North Korean wingers on the right and also failed to clear some easy looking balls. The second-goal which resulted from an ill-timed Sandesh Jhingan tackle saw Kotal failing to mark the scorer which resulted in the goal. Kotal was also beaten in the air a way too often.