The Blue Tigers’ skipper scored the only goal goal of the game against Nepal.

India finally manage to secure their first win at the ongoing SAFF Championships, as they defeated Nepal by a solitary goal. Once again it was Sunil Chhetri who scored in the 82nd minute, allowing the Blue Tigers to stay in the hunt for a finals spot.

Igor Stimac’s men once again hogged possession, but failed to create as many chances as they would have liked. India were also wasteful in front of goal and overall it was another display where the Blue Tigers were made to work very hard for this win.

Here are the ratings for the Blue Tigers from Nepal vs India match:

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu- 6.0

Just like the other two matches, Gurpreet hardly had anything to do. He was not tested that much by the Nepalese forwards and whenever the defenders needed him, he delivered.

Pritam Kotal- 6.5

Pritam started the game really well. He was always on the move on the right flank and even found Suresh Singh in the penalty area, as the latter created the biggest chance of the first half. Even defensively, Kotal was pretty good.

Rahul Bheke- 6.0

A spirited performance from the Mumbai City FC defender, as he looked a lot more comfortable throughout the game. It was partly because India hogged possession and Nepal only played on the counter.

So, it was a comparatively easier match-up for Bheke against the Nepalese forwards. Hence, he along with the entire defence did well to keep another clean-sheet.

Subhasish Bose- 6.0

Just like his fellow teammates, Subhasish Bose also had a decent outing. He was the busier of the two centre-backs, as he had to provide cover for Mandar Rao Dessai, who was given the license to push forward.

Both Manish Dangi and Suman Lama challenged him in duels on the right flank and Bose came out with flying colours. However, he needs to improve his passing, especially long passing.

Mandar Rao Dessai- 6.0

A decent performance from the Goan full-back, who showed great intent going forward. Mandar drilled in some good crosses and was looking to attack at every given chance.

However, he lost the ball cheaply, allowing Nepal to counter-attack. Although they weren’t able to score, it is surely a worrying sign for India.

Lalengmawia- 7.0

Despite starting slowly, Lalengmawia found his feet in the second half. He took care of the ball and controlled the tempo of the game, allowing the Blue Tigers to create pressure and eventually Chhetri found the winner.

Suresh Wangjam- 6.0

An energetic display from the youngster, as he always looked to get in behind the Nepalese defence. He combined well with Kotal and also found Chhetri to create the biggest opening of the first half.

However, he could not create the same impact in the second half and was eventually replaced by Anirudh Thapa near the hour mark.

Brandon Fernandes- 6.5

Just like Lalengmawia, Brandon also took time to find his feet. He was moving the ball around nicely, but was not able to break the Nepalese defence with his vision and passing.

He grew in stature in the second half and created some chances from set-pieces. However he needs more precision in his long-range shooting, he skied the ball two times from decent positions. While this was far from his best, he was still one of the better performers for India. Brandon also made the pre-assist that led to Chhetri’s goal.

Mohammad Yasir- 6.5

Yasir was rewarded with a place in the starting XI after his spirited display against Sri Lanka in the last game. He once again impressed everyone with his intricate passing and combination with Chhetri in the final third.

But, unfortunately, the final ball was missing. He even combined with Manvir Singh with a smart dinked ball, but the forward’s header was saved by Kiran Limbu

Manvir Singh- 6.0

A lot better outing than the last match against Sri Lanka, but once again Manvir failed to find the back of the net for the Blue Tigers.

He made some penetrative runs, but despite getting the ball in dangerous areas, the ATK Mohun Bagan man was not able to break the deadlock for India. He made way for Liston Colaco in the second half.

Sunil Chhetri- 7.0

After two below-par outings, Sunil Chhetri was once again not in his element. Although he scored the winner and saved India the blushes, the 36-year-old missed a handful of sitters against Nepal.

In the first half, he failed to connect a tap-in right in front of a gaping goal. Then in the second, he failed to connect his header properly with only the goalkeeper to beat. He looked rusty, but the fact that he never gave up makes him a trailblazer.

SAFF Championship 2021 highlights: Nepal Vs India

Substitutions

Anirudh Thapa- 6.0

A spirited performance from Thapa, but still nowhere near his consistent best. The Chennaiyin FC midfielder replaced Suresh in midfield, as Stimac wanted to add more creativity in search of goals.

While Thapa was not able to instantly impact the play, he held the ball well and kept up the pressure, forcing the Nepalese defenders to make mistakes.

Udanta Singh- 5.5

Replaced Manvir Singh, but a lot more was expected from him, considering his raw pace and acceleration. He was not at his best, but still made some good runs down the channel and kept the defenders on their toes.

Liston Colaco- 6.0

He is a different player when brought in as a substitute and once again he showed why. Liston was a constant threat down the left flank, as he created some chances and pegged back the defenders. However, the youngster needs to work on his ball control and decision-making to excel as a starter.

Farukh Choudhury- 6.5

Farukh was brilliant in the last match as well, as he found the back of the net only to see it ruled out. He continued that form in this game and came up with the crucial assist which allowed Chhetri to put it past Kiran Limbu, handing India a crucial lead.

Sahal Abdul Samad- NA

Came in for Lalengmawia in the 87th minute and did not get enough time to make an impact.

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