Thursday, 20 February, 2020

Delight, chaotic scenes as Qatar held by India in World Cup qualifier

Draw boosts India’s confidence says assistant coach Draw boosts India’s confidence says assistant coach  12 Sep 2019- 0:00 Shanmugam Venkatesh
Cary Erickson | 11 September, 2019, 19:16

The 0-0 draw has given the Indian team a chance to finish at least second in their group and strengthen their chances of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup. Sunil Chhetri-Less Indian Football Team Script a Historic Draw Against Qatar in FIFA World Cup 2022 Asian Qualifiers; Netizens Laud Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu! Qatar are ranked 62nd in the world to India's 103.

The result means that India now have their first point in Group E heading into their next qualifying match at home to neighbours Bangladesh next month.

Perhaps the last scoreline that anyone watching a game of football would want at the end of the day.But not for every India fan keyed into his/her team's fate at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday night.

At halftime, the hosts were left high and dry as they went into the break 0-0.

With the goalless draw, coach Igor Stimac's side opened their points tally having lost 2-1 to Oman, while Qatar took their points tally to four points, having picked up full points in their emphatic 6-0 win over Afghanistan five days back.

"Playing a team as strong as Qatar, who have won all their matches against Asian sides in 2019, and not conceding a goal is special".

"Of course, Qatar deserved more from the game".

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Midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad, drafted into the starting line-up in place of Brandon Fernandes, credited Stimac for freeing up the players after a first half where the Indian goal appeared to be under siege more often than not. "There is no reason to fear and we shall look to score goals and play good football", Stimac said. They created more chances.

Bangladesh is the other team in the group and will play India on October 15 in Kolkata.

The Indian custodian kept the hosts at bay by anticipating their moves to perfection and averting any danger with quick interceptions.

Later it was Thapa and Udanta who combined with the latter trying his luck from outside the penalty area with a curling effort only for the ball to skim over the crossbar.

With 25 minutes on the clock, an Al-Haydos corner was flicked on by Poojary only to find an unmarked Boualem Khoukhi on the far post.

That was one of the few moments Sandhu was beaten.

The match will start from 10 PM IST and will be live on Star Sports 3 and Asianet Plus.