Both sides shared the spoils on Thursday night after an intense clash.
It was an indeed an extremely cold and frustrating evening for fans in Dushanbe, as Afghanistan and India played out a nervy 1-1 draw. The Blue Tigers began the game with the upper hand and in the opening minutes, it looked like the home side would have to do a lot of defending. Fortunately for them, the pressure didn’t last long and soon enough, the hosts began to orchestrate proceedings.
They scored their opener on the verge of half-time, further boosting their morale. Although, India came out in the second half looking like a team on a mission, none of their stars were able to seize the advantage in the early stages. It wasn’t until the third minute of stoppage time that Len Doungel popped with India’s equalizer. The game ended 1-1 on the night.
Here are the player ratings from the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint-qualifier game.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu- 6.0
The custodian did a decent job of stopping a couple of good Afghan efforts in the first half, but was helpless with the powerful shot that beat him. As India began to push for the winner, his evening became more comfortable.
Pritam Kotal- 5.5
Didn’t offer his usual attacking intensity on the night, owing largely to the solid defensive structure being maintained by the home side. He was beaten for pace on the flank a couple of times as well.
Rahul Bheke- 6.0
Didn’t seem to be in his usual passing flow, as he was guilty of slowing the Blue Tigers’ attacks down on too many occasions. Didn’t do all that much wrong in the defensive third of the game though.
Adil Khan- 5.5
Didn’t find the target with any of his long, searching balls on the night and was beaten in the air on occasion too. Dwelled on the ball at times when it needed to be moved at a quicker pace.
Mandar Rao Desai- 5.0
The left-back struggled for space in the first half, as the Afghan defence crowded him out every time he got forward. Didn’t have his usual impact in attack and was rightfully subbed off at half-time.
Pronay Halder- 4.5
Struggled to have any sort of impact on the game in the first half. Despite being the deepest midfielder, Brandon was often required to drop even deeper because of Pronay’s questionable positioning.
Sahal Abdul Samad- 5.0
Unquestionably the most creative player in the Indian side, Sahal’s attacking flair wasn’t to be seen at any point on the night. The Afghan defenders did a proper job on him, as he struggled to get into the game.
Brandon Fernandes- 6.5
Possibly the Blue Tigers’ best player on the night, the FC Goa midfielder delivered the corner that Len Doungel headed home late on. He had a fair share of chances as well, but does need to improve his final delivery.
Udanta Singh- 5.5
The speedster wasn’t able to perform his usual antics because of the sheer lack of space. He barely touched the ball and wasn’t allowed to get forward to his maximum potential on the night.
Sunil Chhetri- 6.0
The Indian skipper had the most presentable chance of the night, but unfortunately his diminutive frame didn’t allow him to get over the ball. Took up some decent positions and picked some nice passes as well.
Ashique Kuruniyan – 5.0
Failed to make any sort of impact whatsoever. Whenever he got the ball in a forward area, he seemed to simply run into an Afghan player and then run back to defend.
Farukh Choudhary- 5.5
Came on at half-time and was definitely an upgrade on Mandar, who looked completely underwhelming. Didn’t have too much of an influence though.
Seiminlen Doungel- 6.5
Popped up when it mattered with the all-important goal, as he keeps India’s qualification hopes hanging by the smallest thread imaginable.
Manvir Singh- 5.5
Brought on in place of Sahal to try and provide the Indian wingers something to aim at in the box.
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Ovays Azizi- 6.0
The Afghan shot-stopper did well to keep the Blue Tigers out for the majority of the game and he made some key saves along the way as well.
David Najem- 6.5
Was fairly solid in his defensive third and put in quite a shift, like most of the Afghani players on the night.
Zohib Islam Amiri- 6.5
The man with a vast knowledge about the playing style of the Indian players, he did his defensive duties satisfactorily.
Sharif Mukhammad- 7.0
Maintained his position extremely well and drove the team forward at every opportunity.
Hassan Amin- 6.5
Linked up well with the winger on his side and created a few chances going forward as well.
Farshad Noor- 6.5
Possibly one of the Afghan team’s most creative players, the former PSV man didn’t have a game to rave about.
Noor Husin- 6.0
Gave the ball back to the Blue Tigers at times in midfield and should’ve done better positionally as well.
Zelfy Narzary- 6.0
One of the Afghan steam’s more defensive-minded players, Narzary popped with the goal that nearly proved to be the winner on the night.
Omid Popalzay- 5.0
Came off injured within the opening fifteen minutes of the fixture. Didn’t have too much of an impact up until that point either.
Faysal Shayesteh- 7.0
The energetic attacker put himself about and caused the Indian defence some trouble in the first half but slowly faded away.
Omran Haydary – 6.5
Had a couple of opportunities to break away, but got caught offside. Held up the play well at times.
Adam Najem- 5.5
Brought on in an attempt to sure up their 1-0 lead, which unfortunately didn’t happen.
Norollah Amiri- 5.0
Came on with enough time to influence the match, but failed to have an impact.
Milad Intezar- N/A
Didn’t have the time to make any sort of impact.