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Intercontinental Cup 2019, India vs Syria: Player Ratings for the Blue Tigers

India avoided a third straight defeat in the Intercontinental Cup by procuring a point against Syria. The Blue Tigers went toe-to-toe with one of the strongest Asian sides to grab a 1-1 draw.

There were not many clear cut chances in the first half and the second part of the game was set up for a dramatic finish. Igor Stimac's side deservingly lead the game through a set piece when the young defender Narender Gahlot found the back of the net with a precisely directed header.

Indian defence stood strong to negate Syria's pressure, but substitute Jerry Lalrinzuala lost his cool and clipped the opposition forward inside the penalty box. Syrian Skipper Firas Alkhatib kept his calm head to convert the penalty and equalize the score.

There were not many moments in this game because of the resilient nature shown by the Indian backline.

We shall look at the individual performances of the Blue Tigers in the final game of their Intercontinental Cup.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (6.5/10): Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had a relatively quiet game because of the lack of action. During the first half, the Indian shot-stopper made an easy save, but he remained untested for the rest of the match.

Pritam Kotal (6/10): Pritam Kotal provided solidity throughout the game. The defence was left exposed when Stimac wanted his full-backs to be adventurous at times. Hence, Kotal stuck with the defensive task and did that to perfection.

Narender Gahlot (7/10): Narender Gahlot scored his first goal in senior football with a thumping header from a corner. Additionally, he handled the Syrian attack well to rescind for the rest of the game.

Rahul Bheke (8/10): During the first half, India's defence was struggling to cope up with the opponents.
Syrian forwards were having joy through the left-hand side of the Blue Tigers' backline, but Rahul Bheke, who played as a left centre-back, stood up to the task and bailed India out to keep the scoreline intact. 

Mandar Rao Desai (6.5/10): Mandar Rao Desai was opted through the left defensive flank. Initially, he was out of position handing the advantage to Syrian wingers, but he became aware of the defensive shape as the game passed. He had a solid second half until he was taken off in the 75th minute.

Amarjit Singh (6/10): Amarjit Singh started his second consecutive game, but he did not look effective like he was against North Korea. Amarjit passed the ball around and lost some duels in the middle of the park as well.

Anirudh Thapa (6/10): Igor Stimac must be aware of Anirudh Thapa's primary position. The young midfielder likes to link up with the forwards and play behind the striker. Since he was told to sit back with Amarjit Singh to shield the defence, Thapa did not fare well like he used to do.

Sahal Abdul Samadh (7/10): Sahal Abdul Samadh looked bright in Indian midfield. With the help of his nimble feet, the young midfielder carried the ball to feed the forwards. He was easily getting passed Syria's midfielders and was the main creative outlet for India.

Lallianzuala Chhangte (6/10): Since Lallianzuala Chhangte failed to get much-needed support from Mandar, he failed to cause trouble in the final third of the pitch. He had the drive, but Syria's defence had too much physicality to shrug him off and win back the ball.

Udanta Singh (7/10): Udanta Singh was the only Indian forward causing problem to Syria's defence throughout the game. He stretched the play and made some good runs which went in vain. His all-around game in the defensive and offensive part was exceptional.

Sunil Chhetri (5/10): Sunil Chhetri was kept quiet by the opponents' defence. The Skipper had a chance in the first half, but the ball was slightly behind his reach. He did some good flicks, but was man-marked.

SUBSTITUTES

Jerry Lalrinzuala (3/10): Jerry replaced the limping Mandar in the 75th minute, but he was the reason behind India's draw by unnecessarily challenging the Syrian player inside the penalty box which resulted in a spot-kick

Manvir Singh, Vinit Rai, Farukh Chowdhary, Jobby Justin (NA): As Igor Stimac decided to settle out for a point, all four were substituted in after the 85th minute

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