The Stallions’ midfielder has caught the eye of many in the season’s early going.
Defending champions ATK fell to a disappointing 1-4 loss to FC Pune City in their first home game of the Indian Super League at the Salt Lake Stadium on Sunday. The clinical Pune side adapted to the conditions away from home well and showcased a fine display as the Stallions scored four goals past the hosts. Let’s have a look at how the Indian players went in the match.
Debjit Majumder (5.0)
Although regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers in the league, the ATK custodian had a not so good day at the office. Majumder, with all his influence on the back four, could not prompt them to provide a good enough cover for him, which resulted in him conceding the first goal with less than twenty minutes on the clock. The former Mohun Bagan goalkeeper also performed poorly against set-pieces, often opening himself up and making the ATK defense vulnerable at times He was especially at fault for Pune’s second goal as he failed tp come off his line and collect a routine corner, allowung Rohit Kumar a simple header from six yards out..
Prabir Das (6.0)
Prabir Das chance
One of the two players from ATK’s title winning side last season, Das started as the right-back in the game. Known for his overlapping style of play, the full-back was caught inside opposition pivots several times in the game. The 23-year-old defender also could not track back quickly throughout the game, which resulted in him being out of position during the first goal where FC Pune City forward Emiliano Alfaro took the opportunity and exploited ATK’s right side. The former Bagan player also committed unnecessary fouls in the match.
Keegan Pereira (6.0)
One of the less busy defenders on the evening. At times, the ATK defender put up some effort at the back. But, mostly he was unceryain of his positioning.
Hitesh Sharma (6.0)
One of the most exciting prospects in India at the moment. Sharma was given a free role in the midfield by head coach Teddy Sheringham. The 19-year-old midfielder posed a strong presence at the centre of the park as he broke up Pune’s play several times. However, the physicality of the Pune midfield forced him to retire early from the game as Robin Singh replaced him in the 58th minute.
Bipin Singh (7.5)
Bipin scores with brilliant free-kick
Undoubtedly the best player for the hosts. The 22-year-old displayed a very intriguing brand of football in his time on the pitch. The former Shillong Lajong attacker went up in the opposition half many times, but could not wave off Lalchhuanmawia. However, a thunderous free-kick saw him equalizing the score in the 50th minute, which gave some hope for the hosts.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh (5.5)
One of the few star Indian players in this year’s tournament. ATK’s midfield general’s performance diminished considerably in the game against Pune. Lyngdoh was closely marked my Pune’s Marcos Tebar and Rohit Kumar who made it harder for the defender to put a rush in Pune’s approach to the game. Lyngdoh, however, came back a different player in the second half as he made several forward runs hoping to aid Kuqi and co. The effort however was not fruitful as Gurtej Singh intercepted him a couple of times, denying him any space or opportunity to score.
Robin Singh (5.5)
The India internation replaced youngster Hitesh Sharma in the 58th minute. Although, he added more firepower to ATK’s arsenal, he could not change the scoreline. Also, Sharma’s substitution made Pune worry less about ATK’s attacking threat, which resulted in the Stallions putting in more goals to make a humiliating evening for the hosts.
Ronald Singh (4.0)
Replaced youngster Bipin Singh in the 74th minute. However, could not change the flow of the game as his substitution was followed by more goals from the opposition.
Rupert Nongrum (N/A)
Replaced Zequinha in the 81st minute but the match was already over by the time he came on.
ISL returns to Salt Lake Stadium
FC Pune City
Kamaljit Singh (8.0)
Nothing short of a brick wall in front of the Pune bars. Singh displayed a magnificent performance during the game against defending champions ATK as the hosts failed to conquer Pune. The 21-year-old goalkeeper made numerous brilliant saves during the match, most notably in the 4th and 26th minute off Kuqi and Zequinha respectively. Although, the goalkeeper conceded a goal, he made up for it with his many saves that helped his side register a hard fought win and three points from the match.
Lalchhuanmawia Fanai (6.5)
The full-back was tasked with marking ATK’s wide player Bipin Singh during the latter’s time on the field. Although, the defender mostly did a good job, he was sometimes left vulnerable to the pace of the ATK winger. However, he made up for it with his adaptability, which denied any space for the hosts on the right side of the pitch.
Gurtej Singh (7.5)
Another brick wall in the Pune City defense. The 27-year-old displayed brilliant defensive skills at the heart of the back four, denying any space to approaching Kuqi and Bipin Singh to score a goal. He also made some good clearances, helping his side to not concede any undue goals.
Rohit Kumar (7.5)
Pune’s young gunslinger Rohit Kumar had a good outing against the defending champions as he scored a goal in the second half. Kumar displayed a good break-up play in the middle as well as making some decent blocks. The 20-year-old midfielder also rotated play, which helped Pune score the first goal of the game. Kumar was also tasked with marking ATK forward Zequinha in the first half, a task which he completed effortlessly.
Isaac Vanmalsawma (6.5)
Maybe the only weaklink in the Pune midfield. The 21-year-old midfielder was often noticed making sideways passes, which made the Pune gameplay much slower at times. He was also taken advantage of by Lyngdoh in the middle of the park as the former could not cope up with the physicality ATK had to offer. The former Lajong midfielder later picled up an injury and was carried out off the pitch for treatment in the dying moments of the match.
Baljit Sahni (7.0)
Although, most would not agree with his approach towards the game, Sahni helped his side win the lost possession back throughout the game. The 30-year-old did all the dirty work in the Pune midfield as he kept Zequinha and Lyngdoh at bay throughout the game. The former East Bengal player was also seen tracking back for defensive concerns, which made his role invaluable to the Stallions’ side. However, he often committed some unnessesary fouls, which earned him a yellow card in the match.
Kean Lewis (5.0)
Came on in the 72nd minute to revamp the attack. Did not impact the game in any way.