The Blue Tigers were held to a goalless draw by a spirited Sri Lankan side.
The Indian football team failed to make a resounding comeback after a draw 1-1 draw against 10-man Bangladesh. Infact, India delivered an even worse performance in a dismal 0-0 draw against Sri Lanka. The Blue Tigers looked lethargic and failed to create enough chances against a resolute Sri Lankan defence.
There were a few changes in the starting lineup for the Blue Tigers from the first game, but none of them justified their selection. This draw makes the equation of qualifying very difficult for Igor Stimac’s men in the SAFF Championships.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu- 6.0
The Indian custodian hardly had anything to do in the entire game. However, he drilled some great long balls towards the likes of Sunil Chhetri, Udanta Singh and others, which helped them in quick transitions.
Seriton Fernandes- 6.0
The FC Goa man came in for Pritam Kotal and did add that attacking impetus on the right. However, most of his crosses were wayward and did not reach their intended target. The India full-back looked good while moving forward, but the Sri Lanka defence were in their element as they kept everything out.
Rahul Bheke- 5.5
Second consecutive match for Rahul Bheke at the heart of the defence and as a defender he did reasonably well in keeping a clean-sheet. In attack, he had nothing much to do. All in all, it was a lethargic performance from the entire team.
Subhasish Bose- 5.5
Originally a left-back, Subhasish Bose has often been slotted in as a centre-back for the national team. Once again he was given that role and he did a decent job as a defender.
However, he was more active on set-piece situations, he engaged in aerial and ground duels in an attempt to break the deadlock.
Mandar Rao Dessai- 6.0
Mandar Rao Dessai’s inclusion added more liveliness to the left flank for India against Sri Lanka today. He made incessant movements and combined really well with Liston Colaco. His crosses were pretty good too, but none of the players managed to find the target.
Udanta Singh- 5.5
He would have liked to replicate his performance from the Bangladesh game, but that was sadly not the case. He created the chance for India’s solitary goal against the Bengal Tigers, but was well-marked by the Sri Lankan defenders.
They managed to push him out wide and did not allow him space near the penalty area. He did create a few opportunities, but that was not enough against a resolute Golden Army.
Glan Martins- 5.0
It was a pretty average outing for Glan Martins, as he looked out of gas at times. We did not get to see his usual energy in midfield and his driving runs down the middle.
Martins along with Thapa moved the ball around, but did not do it with the correct tempo, which resulted in the team failing to break down the Sri Lanka defence.
Anirudh Thapa- 5.0
Anirudh Thapa is known for his consistency and control in midfield. It is almost unimaginable to see two consecutive underwhelming outings from him. But, that has been the case in the SAFF Championships for the Chennaiyin FC midfielder. Thapa has looked like a shadow of himself.
Liston Colaco- 6.0
Another energetic performance from the ATK Mohun Bagan winger ended without him making any notable impact. Liston combined well with Mandar on the left flank.
He skipped past defenders at will and created some openings for the Blue Tigers. He also missed a golden chance in the first half to take the lead.
Suresh Singh Wangjam- 5.5
India coach Igor Stimac wanted to use Suresh Singh Wangjam’s energy and drive to augment the midfield to attack Sri Lanka. However, he did not get enough free space to move the ball around freely and was stopped in his tracks several times. He was not able to bring that energy to the field, something he usually does.
Sunil Chhetri- 5.0
An off day for the Indian talisman, as he was left frustrated after a drab 0-0 draw. He tried moving around in the final third, dropped deep, but simply did not get the free spaces that he needs to find the target.
Chhetri was kept at bay throughout the game and in frustration, he often lost possession cheaply, especially in the second half.
Mohammad Yasir- 5.5
Replaced Suresh Singh, who hardly had any impact in the first half and did induce some energy in attack, but had an off day with his passing. He tried a few one-twos with Sunil Chhetri, but did not manage to create openings.
Sahal Abdul Samad- 5.0
The Kerala Blasters midfielder came in for Liston Colaco and despite his best efforts, he was not good enough to break down the resolute Sri Lankan defence.
Farukh Chaudhury- 6.0
Probably the only change which created some buzz. Farukh looked lively and made some darting runs from the left flank. He collected a rebound from a set-piece in the penalty area and found the back of the net, only to get it ruled out due to a foul conceded by Subhasish Bose earlier in the play.
Manvir Singh- NA
The ATKMB forward came in late in the game and did not have much impact.