Sports

Shock draw with Qatar fills India with pride

Shock draw with Qatar fills India with pride

Still licking their wounds after succumbing to a gut-wrenching, demoralising 1-2 defeat to Oman at home in their 2022 World Cup qualifiers campaign opener, India looks to pick up the pieces as they face Qatar in their second fixture at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Wednesday. Even without a talismanic Sunil Chhetri, who couldn't turn out for this clash due to a viral infection, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu led from the front to take India to one of their most significant results in recent history.

The result can be seen as a remarkable effort as Qatar is placed at the 62nd position in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings whereas India is on the 103rd spot. The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match that kicked off at 7:30 pm (Qatar standard time) at the Al Sadd Stadium drew more than 12,000 spectators with tickets already sold out as early as last afternoon, a report says.

Cricket is king in India with football a distant second in the list of the country's favourite sports, though most fans rarely pay attention to Indian soccer, instead preferring to watch the English Premier League (EPL) or German Bundesliga.

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

Chhetri, who could not take part in the crucial Tuesday match because of fever, took to Twitter to express his joy after India earned their first points in the ongoing qualifiers.

In the end, India was happy with the fact that they were been able to hold Qatar goalless and Sandhu had a big role to play in this.

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

More news: US Government Committee To Investigate Visit Of Mike Pence To Doonbeg

Qatar were dominant in the first half.

India will next play Bangladesh in their next match on October 15 at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata.

The Indian custodian kept the hosts at bay by anticipating their moves to perfection and averting any danger with quick interceptions. The Qataris, led by Almoez Ali and skipper Hassan Al-Haydos attacked the Indian goal in waves.

The attacking moves saw India win a few corners and one such corner gave them the ideal chance to take a shock lead.

Qatar enjoyed 63% possession and had 13 shots on target but Sandhu was unbeatable.

Stimac himself was generous in his praise of the Qatar team, who had every statistic of the match in their favour apart from the scoreline.


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