A not so good first-half followed by a worthy second-half performance, Igor Stimac's debut as the National Team Head Coach was truly a tale of two halves. India took time to settle down in the first half, often failed to thread in three consecutive passes and lacked communication at the back as they conceded three goals in a flash in the first 45 minutes.
Sunil Chhetri did pull one back from the spot but that too was courtesy of a penalty decision which can be arguably be termed as 'controversial'. Debuts to Sahal Abdul Samad, Brandon Fernandes and Rahul Bheke did not seem to work at all in the first half.
However, India did look a changed side in the second-half as Raynier Fernandes and Amarjit Singh came into the fore as debutants. A more stable and composed midfield supplemented the strikers up front.
Several half-chances were created which was all but scored. Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh missed a couple of good chances before yet another debutant in Michael Soosairaj stepped in.
With not much time left on the clock, Soosairaj did not have enough of the ball and neither did India with more scoring opportunities as the game ended 3-1 in Curacao's favour.
Sportskeeda looks at the individual player rating of the Indian Team :
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (6/10): A mediocre outing for the former Stabaek FC shot-stopper in Buriram as he stood rooted to the spot in the three goals he conceded in the first-half.
Lack of movement and early judgement may not have been the cause of the goals but it did play some role in India conceding. However, Sandhu did pull-off few decent saves in the second-half but the damage was done already in the first period of 45 minutes.
Pritam Kotal (5/10): Kotal was tasked with guarding the left flank and he was struggling for most part of the game.
The Caracao winger Quincy Hooi took him to the cleaners and often got better of Kotal on several occassions in the one on one situations. Kotal was beaten thrice in the first half by Quincy both in pace and marking.
Sandesh Jhingan (5.5/10): Jhingan had a decent outing but he did show glimpses of lack of communication with his back-four and the dearth of concentration at the back which did lead to two of Curacao's goals.
The second goal which allowed Quincy Hooi to escape the offside trap was primarily due to Jhingan playing him on.
The third goal was scored right after the India goal also resulted due to the late closing-on down by Jhingan and Bose. However, Jhingan did well in the aerial exchanges with the Curacao forwards.
Rahul Bheke (4/10): Bheke, making his debut for the Nation could not keep his dream run in Bengaluru FC into the National colours. He struggled throughout the 90 minutes and was quite responsible for the first Curacao goal.
Bheke, unknowingly moved away from Bacuna inside the box which allowed the latter to slot it home with just a phased tap-in.
Bheke kept on giving acres of space for the Curacao forwards and did not have a good day at office. A debut, he would love to forget very soon.
Subhasish Bose (4.5/10): Bose struggled as well in keeping away the Curacao forwards from danger like his fellow compatriots. Bose was spotted not closing down on the scorers in the first and third goal, even when he had time to do.
Instead, he found it ideal enough to stroll around. Bose was beaten numerous times, like Kotal on the left flank. He did give some key passes to Chhangte on the wings but on the defensive note, he was not impressive at all.
Pronay Haldar (4/10): It is safe to say, Pronay Haldar was nowhere close to his usual form for the country. He kept on giving up possession way too cheaply and was robbed off the ball on way too many occassions.
His passes were sloppy as well, allowing the opposition to win the ball back in not so safe areas for India.
Brandon Fernandes (5.5/10): A national team debut for the FC Goa midfielder did not turn out to be very pleasant.
Brandon did show early glimpses of his quality in the beginning of the tie with few perfectly weighted long balls and short passes but that did not result into any good scoring chances barring once.
Fernandes, pretty much turned indiscernible in the rest of the game, seldom making any good move and was accordingly subbed off.
Sahal Abdul Samad (5/10): Adjudged as the next big talent in India by Sunil Chhetri, the youngster from Kerala Blasters, making his debut International appearance for India, failed to live upto the expectations of the fans and pundits alike.
He showed impatience and uncalled urgency in the game, opting to go for ambitious passes, thus losing the ball often. He did tracked back quickly to earn back the lost possession, showing an impressive work rate, but technically, he was not very sound on the ball.
He did create a good chance for Udanta Singh to score in the second-half, but that was just about all from Samad.
Lallianzuala Chhangte (4/10): Chhangte on his comeback appearance was out of his usual pacey and was extremely lethargic in his approach on the left side of the field. Chhangte could not keep the ball long enough, failed to get in quality crosses and also made some wrong decisions in the final third.
Udanta Singh (6.5/10): If someone had to pick the best performer from India's sluggish performance today, it would be no surprise if the one picked turns out to be Udanta Singh.
Though prone to making the wrong move in the wrong place, Udanta was the one man on the field who looked in-touch for the entirety of the game.
He delivered in several dangerous low and high balls from the right. He also got past his markers in the second-half and a real menace for Curacao.
Sunil Chhetri (5.5/10): If there was one man, India could always rely on during a goal-drought situation, it has to be Chhetri and the Captain did score one from the spot. However, other than that one goal, Chhetri seldom had any notable contribution in the game.
He got two brilliant chances to score in the latter part of the second-half but could not score from the aerial balls which denied India any chance of further come back.
Raynier Fernandes (4/10): The Mumbai City FC midfielder replaced Lallianzuala Chhangte and did not have much of an effect on India's game. He kept making wayward passes and lost possession way too quickly.
Amarjit Singh Kiyam (5.5/10): The youngster played some composed bit of football since he came on. Threaded in few quality passes which almost opened up the Curacao defence thrice atleast.
Michael Soosairaj (NA): Soosairaj showed show glimpses of his brilliance in the few minutes he got.