India managed a goalless draw in opposition to Asian champions Qatar however that tasted like a large victory for Igor Stimac’s workforce within the World Cup 2022 qualifier on the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.
With out captain and legend Sunil Chhetri, India not simply recovered from the heart-breaking 1-2 last-minute loss in opposition to Oman however proved that they had sufficient firepower to thwart Qatar, who’ve defeated each Asian opponent they confronted in 2019.
World Cup qualifiers: India maintain Asian Champions Qatar to goal-less draw
Expensive India, THAT is my workforce and THOSE are my boys! Can not describe how proud I’m at this second. Not a giant consequence… https://t.co/6qW9YbCPrj
— Sunil Chhetri (@chetrisunil11) 1568140207000
Stimac made 4 modifications to the facet that misplaced in opposition to Oman within the opener with Chhetri’s unavailability the largest absence. Ashique Kuruniyan and Brandon Fernandes, each of whom excelled for the primary 45 minutes final week, didn’t recuperate in time as nicely, whereas Mandar Rao Desai was introduced in to switch Subhasish Bose.
MASSIVE SHOUTOUT💥 to all of the followers on the stadium🏟 and to those that supported us from again at dwelling🙇🏽♂️🙌🏽 💙… https://t.co/nGeNcCudEE
— Indian Soccer Crew (@IndianFootball) 1568145341000
Qatar scored six targets in opposition to Afghanistan of their earlier conflict on the identical venue, together with 4 within the opening half. They approached the India battle with an identical purpose, crowding the opponent’s space and bombarding goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.
The captain, although, stood agency, both catching virtually the whole lot thrown at him or punching it away. Qatar had been so dominant that that they had three corners within the first 12 minutes and 9 earlier than the primary half whistle.
Regardless of the 70 p.c of ball possession, the hosts – assured of a spot on the World Cup 2022 as hosts — had nothing to point out for his or her efforts. There have been a number of shut shaves; Abdul Aziz Hatem curling one simply away from the crossbar, Gurpreet diving to maintain away a fierce drive from Hassan Al-Haydos, Almoez Al getting a heavy contact contained in the hazard zone after which sending one extensive from handshaking distance.
India merely defended like their life relied on it. Sandesh Jhingan and Adil Khan shaped a robust defensive pairing on the centre, and stored a good leash on the Qatar attackers. At any time when the defence was unfold out extensive, Mandar Rao Desai and Rahul Bheke rose to the event with even Anirudh Thapa, Abdul Sahal and Rowllin Borges all contributing to the defensive solidity.
It was not till the second half that India had their first nook kick and their first probability. Udanta Singh, creating some panic on the suitable together with his tempo, received the primary nook of the sport within the 67th minute and the resultant try noticed Sahal ship his try a whisker away from purpose. Udanta additionally went extensive late within the recreation when he tried to twist previous the outstretched goalkeeper.
🎥 Publish-match scenes from Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha 🇶🇦 make it seem like the #BlueTigers performed at dwelling🙇🏽♂️🙌🏽… https://t.co/s65kF3b2ML
— Indian Soccer Crew (@IndianFootball) 1568142411000
Fairly surprisingly, India had been extra open of their method after the change of ends and virtually performed into Qatar’s palms. There have been gaps on the again and a few nervy moments, however someway nearly no person was in a position to beat Gurpreet underneath the India bar.
He received overwhelmed simply as soon as when he dived to maintain away a low effort within the 85th minute however the rebound from Ismaeel struck the crossbar and bounced again into play.
India had been fortunate to troop out with out conceding a purpose, however no person would grudge them of some extent. Actually not after Gurpreet made 11 saves.