The Blue Colts played out a draw against the White Falcons.

India U-23 registered a 0-0 draw at the end of 90 minutes against Kyrgyzstan in AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. But, later emerged victorious in the penalty shootout. Rahul KP, Rohit Danu, Suresh Singh Wangjam and Rahim Ali scored from the spot for India. While Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem pulled off two saves and won the penalty shootout for India.

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem – 9.5

Dheeraj had a great day at the office as he registered his first clean-sheet at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. He was phenomenal between the sticks, as he made five miraculous saves to deny Kyrgyzstan an opening.

The FC Goa shot-stopper displayed his fearless character and came off his line to defend his net on multiple occasions. Dheeraj also saved two out of the four spot-kicks that he faced in the penalty shootout.

Asish Rai – 7.5

Asish put in a great performance for his side. He was good defensively and was brilliant in the opposition half. The 22-year-old took on defenders and kept on delivering successful crosses from his strong as well as weak foot.

His work rate is worth mentioning as he chased the ball until the last minute. Asish also tested the keeper with a long ranger from the right flank.

Deepak Tangri – 8.0

He has been India’s best centre-back at the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. Yet again, he gave a good account of himself, courtesy of his rock-solid defending.

He was very good with his ball distribution and also made numerous good blocks and interceptions. Deepak also attempted a bicycle-kick, which was safely collected by the keeper.

Narender Gahlot – 6.5

Gahlot made important blocks and interceptions inside the box. He brought the keeper into action with a shot on target in the second half. But, he also made basic defensive errors and gave away the ball in key positions, which could’ve cost India heavily against Kyrgyzstan.

Akash Mishra – 6.5

He initiated a few attacking moves with his pace and dribbling skills. Akash defended well in 1v1 situations and also sent in a couple of good crosses into the box. But, he too gave away the ball cheaply and played a lot of misplaced passes.

Lalengmawia – 8.0

Apuia played the role of a deep-lying playmaker. He held the backline together and supported Amarjit and Suresh well. The Mumbai City midfielder knew when to speed up and when to slow down. He attempted a lot of lofted passes, which created threatening moves for India.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam – 7.0

The former Blue Colts skipper was excellent with his passing accuracy. He was organized in the middle of the park. Amarjit played a couple of key passes, which led to attacking moves for India and also made notable defensive contributions.

Suresh Singh Wanjam – 7.5

The skipper came back strong and played well against the White Falcons. He maintained ball possession well and played with a balanced approach. Suresh was energetic throughout the 90 minutes. He also scored a spot-kick during the penalty shootout.

Vikram Pratap Singh – 7.5

Vikram displayed dynamic gameplay and troubled the Kyrgyzstan backline with his pacy moves. He attempted a few good crosses with his strong and weak foot.

The 19-year-old also won a few corners for India by testing the Kyrgyzstan goalkeeper. His synergy with Asish on the right flank was outstanding. He had a solid match, but wasted a couple of good chances.

Rahim Ali – 7.0

He played the role of a supporting striker to his wingers. Rahim laid off the ball for both Vikram and Rahul to attempt shots on goal.

He was once brought down inside the box, but the referee did not give a penalty-kick. He scored the winner for India in the penalty shootout.

Rahul KP – 8.5

A complete performance was on display by Rahul KP. He dropped deep to shift to the flanks and play diagonal balls. Rahul attempted a strike straight from the heavens, but it rebounded off the woodwork.

His work-rate throughout the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign has been tremendous and it was no different on Saturday. Rahul scored the first penalty for India in the penalty shootout.

Substitutions:

Rohit Danu – 6.5

Rohit replaced Amarjit in midfield. He completed an important cross inside the box to Vikram, who won a corner for India. Rohit played well in the central attacking midfielder role. He also scored a goal for India at the penalty shootout.

Sumit Rathi – 6.0

The ATK Mohun Bagan defender came on in place of Akash Mishra in the left-back position. He did complete a couple of good crosses into the box, but made numerous defensive errors.

Bryce Miranda – NA

Bryce came on late and couldn’t make any notable impact on the game.

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