Sunil Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored two goals with some sublime momentary football to ensure the 12-game unbeaten run extends to 13 for the Blue Tigers.
India played an exciting 2-2 draw against Myanmar in the AFC Asia Cup Qualifiers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Goa on Tuesday to continue their unbeaten streak to 13 games. The Blue Tigers were caught out by an energetic Myanmar side that scored within the first 20 seconds of the game and were difficult for India to contain because of their fast-paced attacking threat.
It took a terrific strike from Jeje Lalpekhlua to equalize things in the second half for the hosts, with both teams satisfied with a point at the final whistle. The game was definitely entertaining as Stephen Constantine‘s team kept their impressive record intact despite not having the best of games.
Let’s take a look at the player ratings for the match!
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (6/10)
The Bengaluru FC stopper made full use of his towering figure, making some stunning saves throughout the match and kept most of Myanmar’s powerful shots from going into his goal. Gurpreet made a rare error for the second goal when he allowed Ko Ko’s shot slide underneath his body to go into the net, but he was solid after that and made some important saves in the second half.
Pritam Kotal (6/10)
Pritam was having a difficult time in the first half and was caught out by Myanmar attackers for India’s first goal but did improve after that, maintaining his position and often covering up for Udanta at the back. Kotal started going forward as the game progressed and delivered some stellar crosses and contained Myanmar well in the second half, recovering well from the difficult first 45 minutes.
Anas Edathodika (7/10)
Anas proved he is the best defender in the country right now with a great individual performance on the day. Despite the whole team being defensively shaky on the day, Anas kept his ground and dug out attacks as much as he could. He calmed down his defence and often covered for Jerry or other out-of-position defenders, proving why he’s so highly rated.
Sandesh Jhingan (5.5/10)
The Kerala Blasters centre-back had a difficult time containing the attacks of Myanmar, and he gave a surprisingly sloppy performance in the first half. Jhingan gave away the ball cheaply minutes after the opener for Myanmar to allow them to come close to double their lead and made some clumsy challenges afterwards. Jhingan proved how much of a threat he can be in set-pieces for the Tigers, and got a grip on the game as it progressed, but looked a bit nonchalant on the day.
Jerry Lalrinzuala (5.5/10)
The young left-back was given a chance ahead of Narayan Das but had a horrific start to the game, as he was beaten too easily by Naing for the first goal. Jerry wasn’t allowed to roam ahead as much as he’d want to because of the barrage of attacks put in by Myanmar, but he showed some impressive work in attack in the second half. His performance proved why he still needs some grooming at the top level.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh (7.5/10)
The mainstay in the Indian team proved why nobody can take his position with another sublime display. A difficult start because of Germanpreet‘s positional inexperience, Eugene got more control of the game in midfield as it wore on. His set-pieces were on-target, and he created multiple chances through them. The ATK midfielder also provided an incredible assist for Jeje’s goal when he played a pitch-perfect lofted ball from the half-line.
Germanpreet Singh (5.5/10)
Germanpreet Singh was brought in for the much reliable Rowlin Borges (and much missed, as we saw in the game), and the youngster failed to make much of an impact. He was run over by the Myanmar defenders and failed to pressurize them into losing the ball. Germanpreet should have closed down Ko Ko before the second goal, but he did better defensively in the second half. Recycled the ball well, but did not contribute too much attacking-wise expect for a few potshots from distance.
Udanta Singh (6/10)
Udanta Singh couldn’t really display his “flash-like” speed on the day in which he was forced to play more defensively because of the aggressiveness of the Myanmar attacks. He needed to give more cover to Kotal and allowed space for the left-back to drift past him on multiple occasions but improved as the game went on. He recovered in the second half and did pretty well, creating some chances and showing impressive energy towards the end to finish the match on a positive note.
India vs Myanmar: Goals & Highlights
Sunil Chhetri (7.5/10)
India’s Captain Fantastic was at the root of everything good about India against Myanmar, as he was the one who woke up and inspired the players after a dreary start. Chhetri showed a lot of intent on the ball and won the penalty, calmly slotting it into the back of the net. The No. 11 was being a constant menace for the Myanmar defence and showed nice energy in the second half to go for the winner. The Bengaluru FC man was unlucky to see his shot go over the bar in the dying minutes.
Holicharan Narzary (6/10)
Holicharan Narzary proved to be a reliable winger with another compelling outing. He helped Jerry with his defensive duties during the initial barrage of attacks from Myanmar with his crossing being spot on. Narzary was better in the second half, whipping in some amazing crosses, which probably should’ve been put into the back of the net.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (8/10)
Jeje Lalpekhlua drifted to the wings and dropped in deep to help the Indian midfielders in the first half, as well as creating some great opportunities himself. The Chennaiyin FC man proved to be a bigger threat in the second half, getting into dangerous positions and always looked threatening. The No. 12 finally got his goal, showing immaculate control and hitting a sweet left-foot shot which won a point for his team. He was deservedly named Hero of the Match at the end.
Bikash Jairu (6/10)
The Jamshedpur FC man was brought in for Narzary in the second half and proved to be electric on the left-flank for the Tigers. His movement and trickery on the ball made it difficult for the Myanmar players to dispossess him, and he gave decent support to Chhetri and Jeje in the attack.
Anirudh Thapa (N/A)
The youngster was brought on for the final few minutes of the game but showed a lot of energy in his impressive display. Almost scored seconds after coming on for Eugeneson and showed great energy to try and get the winner for India.
Kyan Zin Htet (5.5/10)
The goal-keeper for the White Lotus found it difficult to contain the attacking threat of India and made it unnecessarily difficult for his defenders with sloppy collection and positioning. He couldn’t do anything about Chhetri’s goal but should’ve tried to save Jeje’s attempt. The custodian was left embarrassed after he controlled the ball from a back-pass and almost allowed India to get the winner late into the game.
David Htan (6/10)
Htan was definitely one of the better defenders for Myanmar, not only containing the threat of Narzary and Jerry and also managed to give Myanmar an edge attacking-wise. He was seen to be barging forward whenever he could and even created some good chances for the White Lotus, but his attacking players failed to capitalize on it. The right-back definitely gave a compelling performance at the back and impressed with his work-rate throughout the match.
Zya Min Tun (5.5/10)
The Myanmar defender was having a torrid time dealing with Jeje and Chhetri, who were proving to be too intelligent for him. He did well initially to keep Jeje quiet but lost his way as the game went on and a silly challenge which earned him a yellow card. The centre-back was lucky not to be sent off after making another dangerous tackle minutes later.
Win Min Htut (5/10)
Win Min Htut, too, was struggling very badly to keep up with the pace of the game as it wore on, and was given a torrid time by Jeje and Chhetri. He was caught out badly late in the first half when Chhetri went past him and almost scored as the defender looked to be scrambling around helplessly throughout the match.
Sithu Aung (6.5/10)
The young winger showed some impressive pace and movement on the ball in the first half, when he linked well with Win and created some chances down the left. He continued to be a menace for India as the game progressed and was always keeping Kotal on his toes, not allowing him to attack. His unpredictable movement and impressive performance show that the future is bright for Myanmar.
Yan Aung Kyaw (7/10)
The captain of the Myanmar national team was leading by example in the middle of the pitch, as he was at the root of their attacks every time. He looked the most comfortable on the ball and proved to be a really difficult man to dispossess, showing impressive strength to win the ball in the middle of the park multiple times. Kyaw was definitely an important part of Myanmar gaining a point from this match, and gave a dominant display in the middle of the park for the White Lotus.
Hliang Bo Bo (5.5/10)
Hliang Bo Bo couldn’t really replicate his captain’s heroics in the centre of the park, struggling to keep the Indian attacks at bay throughout the game. He showed some inexperience when he brought down Sunil Chhetri to concede the penalty in the first half and couldn’t really improve after that point. Bo Bo was mostly being over-run and couldn’t provide enough cover to his defenders.
Yan Naing Oo (7/10)
Yan Naing Oo introduced himself to the fans in Goa in spectacular fashion, scoring inside 20 seconds of kick-off to shock everyone at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium. Naing showed great persistence to out-jump Jerry and put the ball past Gurpreet early in the game, and continued being a menace for India after that as well. He created some good chances down the right flank and was definitely showing intent on scoring more, something which would’ve definitely pleased his coach.
Thein Than Win (6/10)
Thein Than Win was pivotal to Myanmar’s electric start to the game, and showed some amazing pace down the left-flank and provided the brilliant assist for Naing to score. Win was an absolute nightmare for the Indian defence for the first half-an-hour but was unlucky to have picked up an injury some-time later. It looked like he had pulled a hamstring or something, as Myanmar were badly affected by his substitution.
Kyaw Ko Ko (7.5/10)
Kyaw Ko Ko turned out to be quite the man-to-watch for Indian defenders in the first half, as he was sitting pretty deep in midfield and took complete advantage of not being closed down by the midfielders. Ko Ko looked very dangerous whenever he had the ball and scored the second goal with a low strike which beat Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. He later hit a scorching effort on goal which brought out a brilliant save from Indian goalkeeper, and kept the Indian midfielders at their toes.
Aung Thu (6.5/10)
Aung Thu showed some really impressive energy throughout the match, with the forward often dropping deep to create opportunities for his team. He was brighter in the second half when the others seemed to be exhausted because of the conditions and his energy and willingness to score when his team-mates looked down and out was really impressive, proving how he’s a good team player.
Thet Naing (5.5/10)
Naing was brought on for the brilliant Win late into the first half and couldn’t really replicate his team-mate’s brilliance on the pitch. Naing did show signs of brilliance at times, and did create a few opportunities for his side and made sure his team kept on their attacking display after Win was taken off.
Aung was brought on during the second half for Ko Ko, who was brilliant on the day. While he couldn’t redraw the amazing display, Aung did get into dangerous spaces and tried to create opportunities for his team-mates. The number #7 did whatever he could in the little time he got to impress and could’ve got himself in the good books of the coach with a decent outing.
Lin was brought on by Myanmar with just a few minutes on the clock and couldn’t really do anything in the short time he got to spend on the pitch.