The Blue Tigers were held by Bangladesh in their opening match of the SAFF Championship 2021.

India started their SAFF Championship campaign with a 1-1 draw against a 10-man Bangladesh. The Blue Tigers started really well and showed a lot of intensity in attack. They were rewarded in the 26th minute, when Udanta Singh skipped past two defenders and found Sunil Chhetri in the penalty area. The talisman made no mistake to hand India the lead against Bangladesh.

However, Oscar Bruzon’s side bounced back in the second half, raising their intensity in attack. Bangladesh pressed India high and controlled the midfield really well. But, the Bangla Tigers were pegged back when Bishwanath Ghosh was sent off after he brought down Liston Colaco, who was through on goal. However, even after going a man down, Bangladesh showed great character and created loads of chances against India. They were finally rewarded when youngster Yeasin Arafat restored parity through a Rakib Hossain delivery.

Here are the match ratings of the Indian players following the 1-1 draw against Bangladesh.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 6.0

The Indian custodian did not have much to do in the first half. He made a solitary save to keep out Biplo Ahmed and allowed India to maintain the lead going into the break.

The second half was more of the same, but he had to be more aware, as Bangladesh had the momentum. He did not do much wrong in the goal that India conceded, other than the slightly mistimed pass to Pritam Kotal, which led to the corner from which Bangladesh scored.

Rahul Bheke – 4.5

Rahul Bheke has time and again struggled as a centre-back for the national team. But, once again he found himself in a similar role and sadly the outcome was the same. Bheke looked nervous right from the start and there was hardly any conviction in his clearances.

Pritam Kotal – 5.5

Pritam Kotal found himself in the right-back position after a long time and he somewhat did justice to his role. He was always busy and kept Rakib and Yeasin at bay for most of the match.

He also initiated the move from which India scored. However, he seemed tired in the last quarter and allowed the two opposition players a lot more space.

Chinglensana Singh – 6.0

It was not his best outing for the Blue Tigers, but he kept up the consistency and looked more convincing than his fellow defenders.

Sana recycled possession nicely and kept Matin Miah at bay for large parts of the game. While his long diagonal balls were a little off today, he made up for it with his short passing.

SAFF Championship 2021 Highlights: India Vs Bangladesh

SAFF Championship 2021 Highlights: India Vs Bangladesh A rather underwhelming performance from India at the SAFF Championship 2021, as they ride on Sunil Chhetri’s goal yet again to escape with a draw and a point. Catch the match highlights here Video- Eurosport

Posted by Khel Now Football on Monday, October 4, 2021

Subhasish Bose – 4.5

A lot more was expected from the experienced Subhasish Bose. He had his hands full in containing Saad Uddin on the right channel. Saad is known for his pace and technicality and caused he caused a lot of trouble for Subhasish.

The ATK Mohun Bagan defender was entirely at fault for the goal that India conceded. He was ball-watching during the corner, allowing Yeasin to move freely in the box.

Udanta Singh – 7.0

Igor Stimac had high hopes from Udanta Singh ahead of this game and he backed up his head coach with a solid performance. The Bengaluru FC forward showed great intent with his darting runs forward. He swapped flanks with Liston Colaco and looked more threatening down the right.

His directness and speed created the opening for the first goal, as he combined with Sunil Chhetri in the penalty area and the latter broke the deadlock.

Anirudh Thapa – 5.0

The Indian midfielder was rusty and it was evident that he has not played for a long time. Despite his best efforts, Anirudh Thapa failed to control the ball in the middle.

He often got shrugged off the ball by Mohammad Ibrahim. Fitness-wise, Thapa did not look at his best. Therefore, he was taken off in the second half.

Glan Martins – 6.0

Probably the only player in midfield who managed to get some control. But, Glan did not have much support, as India were always a man short in midfield. Glan once again showed his tremendous tenacity and did all he could to recycle possession and break up play.

Liston Colaco – 6.0

The youngster made some good runs down the flanks and created some panic among the Bangladeshi defenders. But, his lack of decision-making and average passing meant that he gave the ball away way too many times. However, he brought a lot of energy to the forward line and showed glimpses of his talent.

Manvir Singh – 5.5

The ATK Mohun Bagan forward could not provide the support that Sunil Chhetri and Udanta Singh needed. He was a shadow of himself, as he gave the ball away cheaply and hardly penetrated the Bangladesh penalty box. He had a chance late in the game, but his shot was magnificently cleared off the goal-line by Topu Barman.

Sunil Chhetri – 6.5

The Indian talisman did not enjoy much space in the final third. Both Topu Barman and Tariq Kazi checked his movements and did well to contain him.

However, Chhetri did find an opening and made no mistake to score from the chance created by Udanta. Apart from that, he did not have much joy with the ball. He had to drop deep in midfield to collect balls and did not create too many chances.


Brandon Fernandes – 5.5

The FC Goa man replaced Thapa in midfield and was unable to change India’s fate in the game. Brandon Fernandes was not in his element and after he was shifted to a wider role, he saw less of the ball and did not create enough chances.

Lalengmawia – 5.0

Replaced Liston Colaco to provide more solidity and support to Glan Martins in the middle. But, the youngster looked rusty right from the start and it was evident that he has not played for some time.

Lalengmawia is known for his exceptional technical ability, but gave the ball away cheaply and never looked convincing. He allowed Bangladesh to create chances on the counter-attack.

Rahim Ali- 5.5

The Chennaiyin FC forward replaced Udanta Singh and failed to create a similar impact. He tried to combine with Chhetri in the final third, but it did not come off. He needs more match experience and also needs to develop that understanding with his fellow forwards.

Farukh Chaudhury- NA

The winger came on for Glan Martins late in the game and hardly touched the ball.

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