India held Asian Champions Qatar to a goal less draw in the World Cup 2022 qualifier at the Jassim bin Haad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.
Eventhough, India was without their captain Sunil Chhetri, they proved that they had enough fire power to prevent Qatar, who have over come every Asian rival they played in 2019.
Coach Stimac made four changes to the starting line up that lost to Oman. With Sunil Chhetri’s absence. Ashique Kuruniyan and Brandon Fernandes, both of whom were brilliant for the first 45 minutes last week, also didn’t recover in time, nevertheless, Mandar Rao Desai was inducted to replace Subhasish Bose.
Asian Champions Qatar scored six goals in their previous game against Afghanistan. They approached the game against India with the same spirit, crowding the D area and battering goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
But the captain, stood firm and saved every attempt to stop the Asian champions. Qatar were so dominant that they had three corners in the first 12 minutes and nine before the first half ended.
Dear India, THAT is my team and THOSE are my boys! Cannot describe how proud I am at this moment. Not a big result for the table, but in terms of a fight, as big as it can get. Huge credit to the coaching staff and the dressing room. #QATIND— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) September 10, 2019
Regardless of having majority of the ball during the match, the host were unable to beat Gurpreet. Indian defence Sandesh Jhingan and Adil Khan created a strong defensive pairing in the middle of the pitch, and kept the Qatar attackers quite throughout the game.
In the attack, Udanta Singh, created some moments from the right wing using his pace. India won their first corner of the game in the 67th minute and the attack saw Sahal send his attempt a wishker away from goal.
Notwithstanding that, India became more open in their approach in the second half of the match and almost played into the hands of the opponent. But somehow no one was able to go pass Gurpreet.