Player Ratings: India Vs Macau- Marking the men who realized India's Asian Dream
Written by: Uttiyo Sarkar
Sunil Chhetri and Balwant Singh inspired a dominant India team to a thrashing against the rivals they defeated 2-0 in the first leg.
India sealed their qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2019 with a dominating 4-1 win over Macau at the Sree Kanteerava stadium, Bengaluru. In extremely difficult conditions due to torrential rains, the Blue Tigers were inspired by a terrific performance from substitute Balwant Singh in the second half to give them such a hard-earned win.
Macau weren’t standing down to the Blues in the first half, but Stephen Constantine’s men proved to be superior in the second half when they just ran over the exhausted visitors. Balwant Singh brought a lot of energy with himself which rallied on his team-mates and regulars in Sunil Chettri and Jeje Lalpekhlua scored to put the tie to bed later on. Let’s have a look at the player ratings for the game.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (7/10)
India's no 1 goalkeeper was in fine form at his home ground as he did not let the heavy rain faze him one bit! Gurpreet always looked calm in front of the goal and put an end to almost every cross with his long hands. He made some commendable saves in both halves and even though it was a rather easy day at the office for him, Gurpreet showed his presence of mind in making saves and interceptions whenever Macau tried to threaten. He was helpless in conceding the goal.
Pritam Kotal (7/10)
Kotal proved in this game why it'll be very difficult for anyone to go over him into the Indian National team at the right-back spot with another great overall display. The Delhi Dynamos man was all over the right flank in the first half and delivered some beautiful crosses which sadly couldn't be converted by anyone. He was very tidy defensively and even though he could've done better in dealing with Nicholas during the goal, he gave an overall solid performance.
Anas Edathodika (6.5/10)
Anas had a rather quiet day in defence as he did his job silently to ensure that there wasn't any panic in the Indian defence. His passing was really good as he kept the ball rolling at all times and marked Nicolas really well throughout the match to neutralize his threat as much as he could've. Suffered a blow in the first half, but decided to play through the injury in the second before being substituted when the game was put to bed.
Sandesh Jhingan (6.5/10)
The Punjabi defender made his presence felt quite early on in the match as he was almost bullying Macau forward Nicholas in the early phases of the match. Lost his concentration which led to Macau's equalizer later on in the first half but did not lose his focus after that. Jhingan was very good with his clearances and tackles and didn't let Macau a sniff at goal after that. Was unlucky to see his header saved brilliantly by Ho Fai.
Narayan Das (6.5/10)
Narayan Das proved why he's touted as one of the brightest defenders in the country as he put another underrated display at left-back. He wasn't really challenged that much on the left-hand side but always kept his concentration and linked really well with Narzary in the first half. He delivered some very promising crosses but there was nobody at the end of it. Was a bit silent in the second half, playing more defensively to preserve India's lead.
Jackichand Singh (5.5/10)
Jackichand Singh didn't really have the most memorable of outings in the wet conditions of Bengaluru as he was really struggling to make anything happen from the right-hand side. He was marked really heavily by the defenders and failed to put in crosses from the right which forced Pritam to play more attacking and cover for him at times. He just couldn't seem to adapt to the difficult conditions of the pitch and was replaced with Balwant after half-time.
Eugeneson Lyngdoh (6.5/10)
India's No #7 maintained his class and calmness in the middle of the pitch despite the disastrous conditions at the Sree Kanteerava. His passing was great as usual and he linked really well with Rowllin Borges throughout the match and while his partner would play a more attacking, aggressive style of football on the day, Lyngdoh stayed back and covered for him. His set-pieces were on point as well as Eugeneson continued to prove how vital he is, playing as the heart of the Indian team.
Rowllin Borges (7.5/10)
Rowllin Borges continued to be amazing for the Indian National side with another energetic display in the centre of the park for the Blue Tigers. Borges played a rather aggressive game and didn't let the conditions get to him as he stole the ball in midfield several times and played in some dangerous passes as well. Rowlin was lucky to get his first goal in almost two years as it was deflected into the net. He gave a work-horse performance and gave it his all before being replaced in the second half.
Halicharan Narzary (6.5/10)
Halicharan Narzary gave yet another versatile performance in the wings for the Blue Tigers against Macau. He wasn't really that useful in the first half when he was struggling to put in quality balls on the left-hand side and was switched to the right-side in the second half. He did well as an inverted winger and also got a lucky assist thanks to the own goal. With Narzary continuing to prove his skills in a rather un-eventful but promising performance on the day, Stephen Constantine will be a happy man.
Jeje Lalpekhlua (6.5/10)
Jeje had a rather off-day in the pitch as he was struggling to make proper decisions in attack. He tried to be a bit too kind to Sunil Chettri on multiple occasions in the match and was rather frustrating to watch at times. Jeje's finishing wasn't that great either and nor was his usually superb hold-up play, as he was messed up several attacks. He eventually got better in the second half, delivering a beautiful ball for Balwant to assist Sunil's goal before getting his own goal late in the game to end it on a high.
Sunil Chettri (8/10)
Captain Marvel was at it again for India as he played a big part in the triumphant victory against Macau. Chettri was being marked very heavily in the first half by the defenders but almost scored early on in the game, only for the keeper to deny him. But he wouldn't disappoint his home fans, as he picked up his game in the second half and finished off a beautiful move to give India the lead before giving the assist for Jeje's goal late in the game which was a cherry on top.
Balwant Singh (8/10)
The "Hero of the Match" did not even start in the game, but he lit up the atmosphere once he stepped onto the pitch for the Blue Tigers. Balwant brought a lot of energy with him and caught off defenders with his unpredictable movement which allowed him to assist Chettri for the second goal. He came very close to scoring multiple times in the game and after coming on, he was all over the Macau penalty area, with his movement tiring them even more. Balwant proved why he deserves to be a regular starter for India now and his return to the team has been quite astounding in the past few months.
Mohammed Rafique (6.5/10)
Mohammed Rafique replaced the hard-working Rowllin Borges in the second half and took over from him really well as he controlled the midfield really well with Lyngdoh till the end of the game. Rafique looked pretty calm in midfield and made sure India had the game under control until the end.
Salam Ranjan Singh (6.5/10)
Salam Ranjan Singh made his India debut in this match by replacing Anas in the second half. Given the #9 shirt which is normally reserved for a striker or an attacker, Singh looked really comfortable despite it being his first game for the senior national team. He did not show himself as nervous, going on to give a solid performance and make sure that India comfortably won the match in the end.
Ho Fai (6.5/10)
The Macau goalkeeper was definitely not helped on the day and things only got worse for him as the minutes rolled on. Fai actually did really well in the first half as he made key interceptions and stunning saves in the rough conditions and put his body on the line to save his team. But the keeper was helpless to do anything about most of the goals, apart from the Own Goal which he could've done a better job with. But he was Macau's best player at the end despite conceding 4 on the day.
Lao Kin (5.5/10)
Lao Kin was getting some cover from midfield but couldn't seem to handle the pressure from the Indian attack and started to crumble some-time in the first half. He almost got sent-off in the first half after intentionally fouling in a clear goal-scoring opportunity and couldn't deal with India's forwards all that well. Should've done better with covering during Chettri and Jeje's goal and seemed to wear out as the game went on as his team would just sink deeper and deeper towards the end.
Kam Hou (5.5/10)
The left-back was doing a fairly decent job at marking and tracking the run of Jackichand Singh but couldn't stop Pritam Kotal from delivering some rather dangerous crosses from that flank. Seemed to switch off multiple times in the second half as he wandered too forward and wasn't able to track back to save his side from conceding their second and was often being beaten by Narzary who was not a traditional right-winger by any means. Hou did a fairly good job towards the beginning but exhaustion seemingly got the better of him towards the end.
Lei Hou (5.5/10)
Lei Hou was another defender who started off the match doing well as he did well to neutralize the threat of Narzary and Das in the left-wing. He also delivered a beautiful cross for Nicolas to equalize but he failed to keep India at bay after that. Hou failed to track the run of Sunil Chettri who had a free pass at goal to give India the lead in the 60th minute and also seemingly fell asleep in the dying minutes of the game when Chettri beat him to assist Jeje's late goal in the match. Hou seemed invigorated at first but lost his steam to the point of making fatal errors towards the end.
Kong Hou (6/10)
The Macau midfielder was one of the brighter aspects of them, mostly because he didn't really make any noticeable errors in the game. He played his simple game and tried to pack the midfield for the visitors who decided on not parking the bus. Hou was decent with his passing and distribution and did well to break up plays in the middle. Was unlucky to be part of such a terrible performance as he looked like one of the players who actually cared about getting a result before being subbed off.
Chan Chun (5.5/10)
Chan Chun has been a recent call-up for the Macau National team and has a lot of responsibilities in the team already. Chun is allegedly a very good passer and needed to bring his A game to the pitch for Macau to get something out of the game. But he sadly couldn't do that as he failed to control the game and played way too safe to actually succeed. On top of that, his set-piece delivery was also pretty awful as the midfielder couldn't even properly put on crosses and failed to prove why he's Macau's "set-piece specialist".
Cheang Ieong (5.5/10)
Macau's captain failed to inspire his team the way his counter-part in Sunil Chettri did in the second half. Ieong was playing way too deep in his box in an attempt to cover for his defenders and make it difficult for India to penetrate their defence and was doing a decent job at first. But the conditions seemingly got to him in the second period where he undid all his good work and could do nothing but see his side fall to a 4-1 defeat. Ieong should've helped them control the game better and definitely failed at his task of getting anything out of the game.
Lan Tong (5.5/10)
Despite being a midfielder, Lan Tong was also being forced to play very defensively in the first half as he stuck with his defence to keep India from scoring. While he did well initially to stop the Blue Tigers from penetrating the defence, luck went against him in the 30th minute when Rowllin's shot deflected off his body into the goal to give India the lead. Tong wouldn't really do anything note-worthy after that as he tried to attack more after that horrific incident but couldn't conjure up anything good for the remainder of the game.
Lam Seng (4/10)
Lam Seng was quite ineffective throughout the game as he was completely neutralized by India's defence and failed to put in a cross in the game. Neither could be create anything else for the attackers and became really frustrated as he was being forced to track back deep in his own half to stop India from scoring. But things got from bad to worse for him when he weirdly headed in an own-goal which took the game away from Macau's reach, as this was a day to forget for the winger.
INDIA 4-1 MACAU: India qualifies for the AFC Asian Cup 2019
Carlos Fernandes (5/10)
Carlos Fernandes was quite the lonely man in attack for Macau as he barely had any chance to do anything in the first few minutes. He did a little showboating when he did initially receive the ball, but things went sour after that point. Fernandes' shots would go way off the mark as he couldn't control the ball properly and neither could he create anything for his side. Fernandes would be frustrated by India's gameplay and was very ineffective in this game which was dominated by the hosts.
Nicolas Tarrao (6.5/10)
Nicolas Tarrao was another lone striker in the Indian side's half throughout the match and couldn't really do anything about it either. After being almost invisible throughout the match, Tarrao popped out of nowhere to score the equalizer for Macau in the 32nd minute with a clever header which managed to trick both Sandesh Jhigan and Pritam Kotal. The striker wouldn't really get many opportunities after that but showed himself to be a clinical striker with a poacher's goal.
Pang Chi Hang (6/10)
Chi Hang had a rather decent game against India when the teams met in the reverse fixture a few months ago, but couldn't really make an impact when he was brought on the second half. Hang couldn't create many opportunities for his team and could only watch them concede goals in the second half due to extreme exhaustion. Chi Hang showed some determination at least after coming on, something which the other Macau players just didn't show on the night.
Lee Keen Pang(N/A)
Pang would come onto play in the last 10 minutes or so and couldn't really do anything about what happened in it, as he could only watch as his side sunk to a rather disappointing loss.
Published: Thu Oct 12, 2017 02:11 PM IST