The Blue Tigers were once again haunted by their vulnerabilities in defence in the first half.

Igor Stimac-led India were humiliated for getting their basics wrong in his first-ever game in-charge against Curacao. The Blue Tigers lost to the Caribbean island nation 3-1 courtesy of goals from Roly Bonevacia, Elson Hooi and Leandro Bacuna. Sunil Chhetri scored the only goal for the Indian team through a penalty, but could not propel his side to a positive result.

While Indian players attacked cohesively, the backline was far more disorganized. The likes of Sandesh Jhingan, Rahul Bheke and Pritam Kotal failed to coordinate and communicate well with each other and were hence made to pay for it, by giving away three goals to the Caribbean islanders.

Watch: Curacao 3-1 India highlights

Below are the ratings of the players involved in the game.


Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 3.0

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was once again at the receiving end for the national team. This time though, in his defence, the defenders were more at fault than the Bengaluru FC keeper. Poor communication and a lack of cohesion between the back four opened the way for a number of Curacao attackers to get in front of him. The goalkeeper has definitely seen far better days than this in his career.

Pritam Kotal – 3.5

Kotal always left Jhingan a vacant side to cover, while the latter tried to cover for Bheke. His pace let him down and he could not match Bonevacia’s strides. He didn’t provide much support while going forward as well and Udanta had to do it all by himself.

Rahul Bheke – 3.0

Showed a lack of communication and got drawn out of position easily. Rahul Bheke showed that he needs time to settle into the national team. Did improve along with the team in the second half. A foul on goalscorer Hooi saw him get into the book of the referee.

Sandesh Jhingan – 3.5

Sandesh was never the leader of the defence he was supposed to be. He failed to organize the back four well and provide cover for Bheke, who was highly unstable and always on the move. However, he came close to scoring in the dying minutes of the game from a corner.

Subhasish Bose – 4.0

Subhasish Bose hasn’t recovered well from the poor performances oin the ISL playoffs. Bose failed to close the gaps left behind by the duo of Jhingan-Bheke. He was also given a tough time by Gevaro Nepomuceno, who provided for the first goal of Curacao.

Watch: Sahal Abdul Samad was one of the finest Indian performers against Curacao

Sahal Abdul Samad – 6.5

Lived up to expectations, as he grew into the game as it progressed. In the first 45 minutes, he showed great energy and will, though lacking precision in his passing. But, in the next 45, he fixed the issue and always looked to set Chhetri up. Won the penalty for the only goal scored by India.

Pronay Halder – 3.0

Pronay failed to make his presence felt in any manner. The defensive midfielder, known for tripping the opposition players down and breaking up the play, looked disinterested, to say the least. His positioning, passing and pace begged for a substitution to be made.

Lallianzuala Chhangte – 4.0

Chhangte was wasteful throughout the first 45 minutes of the game. It is hard to remember one single good move from him in the first half. A lack of will to track back and help the full-back behind him when the defence was being taken for a ride, didn’t help either. Consequently, he was replaced.

Brandon Fernandes – 6.0

Watch: Brandon Fernandes is looking to help India score more goals

Brandon looked on a different level of comfort from the rest. He distributed the ball well and was a part of almost every constructive move from Stimac’s men. His long balls were a joy to watch. The change in positioning though saw him being less involved and he was then sacrificed for Michael Soosairaj.

Udata Singh – 6.0

Udanta managed a couple of good crosses in the first half in spite of the poor support he received from Pritam Kotal. He grew into the game later and always looked like the source of the goal that India would next score. A little bit of help for the defensive line would have been much appreciated though.

Sunil Chhetri – 6.5

Watch: Sunil Chhetri scored the only goal for India against Curacao

Chhetri was isolated in the initial few minutes until he decided to drop deep and help the midfield. Scored the only goal for India and was always looking for ways to get behind the defensive line of Curacao.


Raynier Fernandes – 6.0

Raynier Fernandes was a big improvement from Kotal. Played in a rather uncharacteristically deeper position, Raynier managed to bring life back to the team’s gameplay. He has earned himself a place in the next game’s starting XI.

Michael Soosairaj – 5.0

Soosairaj was the only substitute with very little impact. He was provided a big opportunity by Chhetri, but couldn’t control the ball well and failed to shoot off the cross. However, he was an improvement on Chhangte and might start in the next game.

Amarjit Singh Kiyam – 6.0

Amarjit brought stability to the midfield that it missed at times in the first half. He was always an extra option to pass the ball to for his teammates and surged into the box as well whenever allowed.



Eloy Victor Room – 5.0

Wasn’t troubled much as the Blue Tigers failed to break the Curacao defence.

Cuco Martina – 7.0

Three different left wingers were tried by Igor Stimac throughout the game, but none of them could find a way to get behind Martina.

Darryl Lachman – 7.0

The PEC Zwolle centre-back was too strong for Sahal, as Darryl continuously toyed with the Kerela Blasters midfielder.

Jurich Carolina – 5.0

Was troubled by Sahal throughout the game and gave away a penalty while dealing with an aerial ball in the box.

Michael Maria – 5.5

Udanta’s pace was too much to handle for the 24-year-old, as he continuously allowed Udanta to put in dangerous crosses.

Roly Bonevacia – 8.5

Was a constant threat in the left flank and opened the scoring for the Caribbean team.

Leandro Bacuna – 8.0

Scored the third goal for his side right after Chhetri had given India hope of a fight back.

Gevaro Nepomuceno – 8.0

Assisted the first goal of his side after finding space in the middle of the defensive box three times in a single run of play.

Jurien Gaari – 7.0

Was heavily involved in the build-up play from the right along with Nepomuceno. Dragged Bheke out of position multiple times.

Elson Hooi – 8.0

Found a lot of space in between Jhingan and Kotal, dribbled past Gurpreet for the second goal of Curacao.

Jafar Arias – 7.0

Was instrumental in the first half, but failed in the second, as the Indian defence started communicating better.


Shermaine Martina – NA

Arrived too late to be included in the ratings.