The Blue Tigers completed the Asian Qualifiers with a perfect record.
India ended their AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign in emphatic fashion, with a dominating 4-0 win over Hong Kong. Anwar Ali opened the scoring in the opening minute itself, before Sunil Chhetri doubled the lead just before half-time.
Manvir Singh then scored the third in the 85th minute and setup another for Ishan Pandita eight minutes later to sum up a solid win for India. With it, the Blue Tigers have topped Group D and will head into the AFC Asian Cup with their heads held high. Here are the player ratings for the game.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 6.0
Gurpreet didn’t really have that much to do because of how solid his backline was. But, he looked sharp in goal and collected crosses really well, as well as making a few nice saves.
Naorem Roshan Singh – 7.0
Roshan ended the qualifiers with another strong performance, liquidating a lot of Hong Kong’s threat down his wing with some sturdy defensive work. He also put in some brilliant crosses and long balls to setup chances. However, he was unlucky not to see them converted.
Anwar Ali – 9.0
Ali produced a predator’s finish to score his first international goal and didn’t look back after that. The Indian centre-back was a colossal figure defensively, often covering for Jhingan and putting in some clutch challenges to frustrate Hong Kong.
Anwar was undeniable on the day – both defensively and with a goal – and further solidified his position in the national team.
Sandesh Jhingan – 7.0
Jhingan maintained a strong line against the quick Hong Kong attacks and ensured that his side never looked defensively exposed. He won a lot of key duels in his half and made some key clearances to avert danger, playing a big role in ensuring India got the clean-sheet.
Akash Mishra – 8.0
The young left-back had a ‘you shall not pass’ attitude against the opposition attackers, coming up with key tackles and clearances time and again to frustrate them. Mishra won a lot of duels, hardly allowed danger to pass and even carried the ball forward well – testing the goalkeeper twice.
Suresh Singh – 6.0
The Bengaluru FC midfielder was a bit aggressive with his approach, clattering the Hong Kong players with fouls and getting booked. But, he also stopped a few breaks well and did his job in protecting his backline.
Jeakson Singh – 8.5
Jeakson played with more freedom and put in a highly efficient performance in midfield. He progressed the ball excellently, carving open the Hong Kong backline and spotting his teammates in free space.
Assisted Chhetri’s goal with a beautiful free-kick that signified his creative ability. Put in some effective work defensively in the second half to round off a very solid performance.
Udanta Singh – 6.5
The birthday boy got a start and created a lot of chaos on the right. Udanta tormented the Hong Kong defenders with his blistering runs and created a few good chances with timely deliveries. Worked hard in going up and down the pitch and put in an encouraging performance.
Sahal Abdul Samad – 6.5
Sahal got a deserved start after his heroics from the last game and added a lot of tenacity to his side’s attack. Made some smart forward passes to send his teammates through and hit the bar after a thunderous attempt in the first half.
Ashique Kuruniyan – 7.0
The other birthday boy retained his spot in the team and was again a terrorizing factor down the left. He helped setup Anwar’s goal and then caused a lot of trouble through the left channel with his mazy movement. Created a few nice chances, but lost steam in the second half.
Sunil Chhetri – 8.0
Chhetri continued his impressive work up front by leading the charge for India and encouraging his teammates to attack Hong Kong with freedom from the get-go.
Got himself into some clever scoring areas and got his goal in the second half, beautifully collecting a cross before sweetly tucking it into the back of the net. He’s now on 84 goals (on par with Ferenc Puskas) in the all-time highest international goalscorers list and ended the qualifiers with four goals in three appearances!
Glan Martins – 6.0
The FC Goa midfielder was brought on at half-time and helped keep things sharp in midfield. Used his energetic presence to win the ball a few times and put in some good defensive work, helping his side keep a clean-sheet.
Liston Colaco – 5.5
Liston often tended to try too hard on the ball after coming on, which resulted in him losing it in key areas. Not really able to set up anything special.
Manvir Singh – 7.5
Manvir started from the bench for the first time in the qualifiers, but made the impact needed after coming on. Made a few great runs through the right, but his crosses weren’t accurate.
However, the ATK Mohun Bagan man made no mistake in smartly tucking home to score India’s third. He also then assisted Pandita’s goal with a smart pass in added time.
Brandon Fernandes – 7.0
Brandon helped improve the creative factor for his side and set up Manvir’s goal with a brilliant cross.
Ishan Pandita – 7.0
Pandita got his first appearance of the qualifiers and looked sharp. Scored India’s final goal against Hong Kong by smartly converting from close range.