India held Qatar to a goalless draw in Doha’s Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in their second qualifying match for the FIFA World Cup 2022. Despite their captain Sunil Chhetri missed the match due to fever, India’s defence and a brave Gurpreet helped them earn a point against the World Cup 2022 hosts.
Stimac had made five changes to the team that started against Oman. Before the match, Chhetri didn’t make it to the squad. Ashique Kuruniyan was rested along with Subhasish Bose and Brandon Fernandes. Sahal Abdul Samal got the much-needed start in the attack along with Manvir Singh who replaced Chhetri.
It was an amazing performance from the Bengaluru FC shot-stopper who showed his calibre quite a few times to deny Qatar from taking a lead in the match. It was Al-Haydos who came close to scoring with a long-ranger but Gurpreet haulted the danger.
It was always difficult to score against Qatar and India’s head coach Stimac would’ve thought about taking the set-piece route to make some impact. Sahal almost succeeded when he tried a shot from an Anirudh Thapa corner.
The qualifiers for the world cup in Qatar have started and in terms of impact on the group and table, India’s draw doesn’t hold much significance.
“Everyone played their hearts out, and gave everything out on the pitch. That enabled us to come back to the dressing room, satisfied, and with a very crucial point,” Gurpreet had said after the match.