The Blue colts were handed their first defeat of the Qualifiers on Wednesday.

India went down 0-1 against the hosts UAE, as a late penalty spoiled their party. Igor Stimac’s side looked very good in the first half, but things changed in the second 45. India approached the second half against UAE in a more orthodox manner and had to pay the price for defending too deep in AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qualifiers.

Dheeraj Singh Moirangthem – 8.0

Dheeraj was brilliant throughout the game except for the spot-kick. He was India’s best player on the pitch, as he made two great saves in either half to deny UAE an opening. The FC Goa shot-stopper had a busy day as he made five saves, six collections and five clearances.

Asish Rai – 7.0

The Hyderabad FC prodigy made overlapping runs followed by pinpoint crosses into the box. He made four clearances, two interceptions and also put in a perfect last-ditch tackle.

Deepak Tangri – 7.0

Tangri had yet another good outing as he was rock-solid at the back. The ATK Mohun Bagan star recorded six clearances and a block against the home side.

Narender Gahlot – 7.5

The Jamshedpur FC man was the most impressive defender in India’s backline. He made nine clearances, the most by any Indian player. He also recorded a tackle alongside two interceptions.

Akash Mishra – 7.0

Akash continued to do what he does best. He initiated a few threatening moves with his bombing runs forward and also defended well. Across the 90 minutes, he recorded six clearances, five interceptions and a block.

Lalengmawia – 7.0

Apuia was cool and composed on the ball while playing the role of a holding midfielder. He blocked two shots, made as many key passes and had a shot off target. He also made four interceptions.

Suresh Singh Wangjam – 6.5

The India skipper had a bad day at the office according to his standards. Suresh made three key passes and two interceptions, but also gave away the penalty from which UAE scored.

Jeakson Singh – 6.5

Jeakson played the whole match, but he had an average outing as he recorded just two clearances and interceptions each.

Vikram Pratap Singh – 7.5

Vikram brought the same energy from the last game and gave a good account of himself. His work rate was impressive, as he tracked back every time to help his wing-back. He troubled the UAE backline on many occasions with his pace and trickery.

Rahim Ali – 6.5

Rahim Ali did not have any notable impact in the attacking third. But, he dropped deep to help out his defenders and recorded three clearances in this process.

Rahul KP – 7.5

Rahul was a constant threat to UAE on the left wing. He came back to help out his wing-back and also regained possession for India multiple times. He also had a goal ruled out due to offside. Defensively, he made four interceptions and two clearances.

Substitutes:

Sumit Rathi – 6.0

Sumit came in to replace Vikram and was straight away deployed as a left-back. He made three clearances and committed a major error, which enabled UAE to win the penalty.

Princeton Rebello – 6.5

He replaced Asish Rai and joined Jeakson and Amarjit in midfield. Princeton played a few notable passes in the limited game-time he got.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam – 6.0

Amarjit came in to replace Apuia to make his second consecutive appearance off the bench. He made a few interceptions and clearances alongside a couple of fouls late in the second half.

Aniket Jadhav – NA

Jadhav replaced Rahim Ali in injury-time and couldn’t make any notable impact on the game, apart from conceding silly fouls.

Rohit Danu – NA

Just like Aniket, Danu too didn’t have much time to make his presence felt in the game.

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