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AFC Asian Cup 2023 India Ratings: Assessing every player who turned out for Blue Tigers in Qatar

Published at :January 25, 2024 at 3:00 PM
Modified at :January 25, 2024 at 3:01 PM
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(Courtesy : AFC Media)

Atawaris Warsi


There was no standout player from India’s AFC Asian Cup squad.

The Indian National Football Team concluded their AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign with three disappointing performances, failing to score a goal, secure a draw, or register a win, ultimately finishing with zero points. 

The team’s lacklustre display reflected a collective struggle, with no standout performances from any player in the Blue Tigers camp. The tournament proved to be less than mediocre for the Indian side, highlighting deficiencies in both offensive and defensive aspects. 

We at Khel Now, rated the players’ performance throughout the AFC Asian Cup 2023:

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 6.5

He wasn’t at his very best in the AFC Asian Cup 2023, producing poor performances against Australia and Uzbekistan. However, he did a quite commendable job against Syria until Omar Khribin scored for the Syrians. Gurpreet conceded a total of six goals, and his save percentage throughout the group stage was 64.7%.

Sandesh Jhingan – 6.0

The towering defender excelled against Australia and Syria in the AFC Asian Cup 2023. However, he failed to do much against Uzbekistan, the only match where he did not shine.

Rahul Bheke – 4.0

Bheke’s performance fell short against all three teams in the group during the AFC Asian Cup 2023. His physicality didn’t meet expectations and there were moments where he could and should have done more. In 15 ground duels, he only managed to win seven and lost possession 34 times.

Lalengmawia – 4.0

The Mumbai City FC midfielder struggled to fulfill the midfield role. He failed to link the defence with the attack and had difficulty defending against opposition midfields, notably Syria.

Manvir Singh – 2.0

One of India’s poorest performers, he resembled a ghost in attack, lacking the ability to carry the ball, create spaces, or make incisive runs. His performance in aerial duels was bleak, contributing nothing to the attack. He had zero shots and key passes in the AFC Asian Cup 2023 campaign, which is not desirable for a striker.

Sunil Chhetri – 6

Sunil Chhetri made mistakes during the campaign, yet receiving little or no help from teammates in passing limited his impact. Despite this, he had a goalscoring opportunity against Australia and remained active against Uzbekistan and Syria. Chhetri managed just seven shots in total, with one on target and one blocked, while 5 were off target.

Nikhil Poojary – 2.0

Another underwhelming performer for India throughout the campaign, Poojary offered little in both defence and attack. Opposing teams easily bypassed him, and his failure to protect the right flank proved disastrous.

Subhasish Bose – 5.5

His performance in the backline against Australia and Syria was resilient, especially the latter game. Bose stood out as the player who blocked most of the Syrian attacks. In the match against Syria, Subhasish made 11 clearances along with two blocks, interceptions, and tackles each.

Deepak Tangri – 5.5

Tangri started against Australia and Syria, and although he couldn’t contribute much in attack, his physicality somewhat matched the intensity displayed by Australia and Syria in those games.

Suresh Singh – 5.5

His notable ball control and determination stood out throughout the tournament. While Suresh made errors, he also showcased some improved gameplay moments. He lost possession 22 times throughout the competition.

Lallianzuala Chhangte – 5.5

Chhangte played against Australia and Syria, demonstrating pace on the flanks, but failed to capitalize on opportunities.

Naorem Mahesh Singh – 4.0

Mahesh looked perplexed and hesitant throughout. His off-the-ball pressing lacked effectiveness, contributing to a less impactful performance.

Akash Mishra – 3.5

Akash Mishra fell short of fans’ expectations, failing to exploit the flank effectively. His crosses were lacking, and defensively, he was not prominently visible throughout the campaign. In the match against Syria, he won only one aerial duel out of a total of eight.

Anirudh Thapa – 3.5

Thapa had a good outing against Australia, but he struggled against the physicality of strong Uzbek players. They consistently overpowered him when he had the ball or attempted to press.

Udanta Singh – 4.5

He played with the ability to connect the midfield to the attack, displaying some positive aspects, but there isn’t much notable to say about his overall performance.

Liston Colaco – 2.0

Liston made only one appearance in the entire campaign, coming off the bench against Australia, but couldn’t make a significant impact.

Vikram Partap Singh – 2.0

Another substitute who played only against Australia, Singh offering minimal contribution to the team’s performance.

Rahul KP – 4.0

When India went 3-0 down before half-time against Uzbekistan, Stimac brought Rahul KP as a substitute. In the second half, he provided a cutting edge, with a shot that rattled the woodwork, but the damage was already done by the White Wolves.

Brandon Fernandes – 2.0

Came on against Uzbekistan and displayed some positives in the attack.

Sahal Abdul Samad – NA

Played after a long injury and wasn’t at his best. Lost the ball most of the time.

Ishan Pandita – N/A

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