India vs Qatar – 5 takeaways from the game

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3. A tactical lesson learnt in defense

India vs Qatar - 5 takeaways from the game

India played with 5 defenders with a seemingly 3-4-3 formation at the beginning. The two wing backs Ashique Kuruniyan and Rahul Bheke were caught off position many a time leaving plenty of space for Qatar to work on. The starting lineup was a little surpising as only one natural centre back was featured in a 5 man defence. Rahul Bheke was played at right wing back while he could’ve made a stable presence in a three man central defence or as a full back in a four man defence. But playing at wing back caused him to give away many fouls which eventually led to his sending off.

Pritam Kotal could’ve exchanged positions with Bheke or rather a 4 man defence would have been better pushing up Ashique into midfield. Injured Chinglensana Singh was clearly missed, as his presence would’ve helped not only in the defence but also tactically. This match will however be useful for India to rethink their options in the next games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

4. An improved Indian attack than the last time

India vs Qatar - 5 takeaways from the game chhetri ind vs qat

The Indian forwards had more to do in the pitch’s offensive side than the last outing, where the main strategy was holding up the play. India was bolstered by the return of captain Sunil Chhetri in the attack. Though they could not take enough shots, they ventured into the final third a lot more than the previous encounter.

A good exchange between Chhetri and Manvir almost opened the scoring for India if not for a block from the Qatar defender. Chhetri made a remarkable shift in the false nine roles, as he held up the play and was constantly looking for options to play Manvir through on goal. Something which could’ve reminded the fans of the combination of Chhetri and Jeje Lalpekhlua a few years back.

Manvir Singh could’ve had a tap in the opener for India in the first half. Bipin Singh and Udanta Singh were able to get into good wings, but the defense crowded them out. Nevertheless, India spent much more time in the attack and was sensible in the attack by not giving away the ball cheaply. This could motivate India as they should build on it mentally for the next games.

5. Makes them ready for the upcoming fixtures

India vs Qatar - 5 takeaways from the game

The stern defending from the team and conceding just one goal after being reduced to ten men will serve as an uplift mentally for the Indian team which is to face Bangladesh on June 7 and Afghanistan on June 15. As India will be targeting to get 6 points from the last two matches, the result will be motivating factor for them. Minor errors can be corrected and he right combination could be selected for the next two matches.

With the return of Sana at the back, players like Brandon Fernandes, Lalengmawia and Ishan Pandita will also be looking forward to contribute to the team. With a strong bench, India can go into the preparations of the next two games with optimism.

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