Blues Tracker: Keegan makes debut as India beat Laos 6-1 in Guwahati

Lyngdoh, Chhetri Grab Assists As India Post Big Victory To Enter Final Round Of 2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

Guwahati: Six Bengaluru FC players featured as the Indian National Football team posted a 6-1 win over Laos in the second leg of the Round 2 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, in Guwahati, on Tuesday. The win, which included a debut start for left-back Keegan Pereira and assists for Eugeneson Lyngdoh and Sunil Chhetri, sends India through to the final round of qualifying for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a 7-1 aggregate scoreline. We take a look at how the Blues fared…

Udanta Singh

The 19-year-old made the starting XI for a second time this week and impressed yet again, setting up striker partner Jeje Lalpekhlua with a host of chances to take the lead. Frequently tracking back to link up with the midfield, Udanta ran riot down the flank, often playing give-and-gos with Rino Anto and Lyngdoh. With the added advantage of the tall Sumeet Passi in attack, Udanta’s crosses were inches away from finding the required contact on more than a few occasions.

Sunil Chhetri

The skipper had another outing to remember, twisting and turning past the Laos defence to create a number of chances. Linking up with Lyngdoh for short corners, Chhetri operated down the left wing, linking up with Jeje for the latter’s second goal on the night. The 31-year-old was in the thick of things once again, setting up substitute Alwyn George for a crack at goal shortly after his arrival, but the latter’s strike was blocked away.

Eugeneson Lyngdoh

Lyngdoh partnered Mohammad Rafique in the heart of midfield, spraying passes across the field for Udanta and Chhetri to attack the flanks while tracking back on multiple occasions to thwart Laos attacks. Having conceded early, his drives forward paid dividends as India took the lead with two goals in four minutes through Jeje and Sumeet Passi shortly before the break. His inch-perfect free-kick was headed home by Sandhesh Jhingan as India doubled their lead shortly after the restart. A number of floated crosses went inches away from contact as he was replaced by Alwyn after picking up a knock.

Keegan Pereira

Making his debut for team India, Keegan gave nothing short of 100% on the pitch today, chasing lost causes and often delivering crosses into dangerous areas for Jeje and Passi to attack. The 28-year-old was solid in defence, often protecting the ball out of play and tackling well to stop Laos’ forays into the attacking third. Linking up with a familiar face down the left flank in club skipper Chhetri, Keegan had more than a part to play in several India attacks, winning multiple corners to keep pressure on the opposition.

Rino Anto

Right-back Rino Anto staked his claim for the tag of ‘Mr. Consistent’ once again, putting in an impressive display in attack and defence while holding fort to avoid Laos from extending their early lead. Along with Udanta and then later Jackichand Singh down the right flank, Rino was involved in several of India’s attacks, swinging in crosses and putting in through passes for the strikers to collect.

Alwyn George

India’s win marked another encouraging cameo appearance for Alwyn George as he replaced the injured Lyngdoh for the final 10 minutes of regulation time. The Blues’ midfielder was in the thick of things right away, taking a swipe from a Chhetri pass only to see it blocked away by a Laos defender. Dribbling past several players on occasion, Alwyn drew tackles and won free-kicks in the heart of midfield while connecting the dots between defence and attack as India scored two goals in the space of four minutes after his arrival.

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