India Face the Toughest Test against Asian Champions Qatar

2022 World Cup Qualifier Round 2- Group E- Qatar v India- Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium Doha Qatar

A brilliant performance from goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and some stout defending helped India take a point from Asian champions Qatar in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifying campaign at the Al Sadd Stadium yesterday.

Even though the hosts threw everything at India, the visitors - led by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu - stood tall against incessant waves of attack to play out a goalless draw against a team ranked 41 places above them in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings.

Here is how Twitter reacted to India's draw to Qatar. "Qatar are an extraordinary side and this was a qualifier match as well, which makes the result even sweeter for us", he said.

It was all about Qatar as far as goalscoring opportunities were concerned as Ismaeel Mohammad rattled the woodwork on the rebound in the 85th minute but luck favoured India and Gurpreet who pulled off some astonishing saves either side of halftime.

India, heavily outranked by Qatar, were understandably under the pump against a fluid and in-form team.

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

Following a heartbreaking loss against Oman in Guwahati five days ago, the draw earned the Blue Tigers their first point in the ongoing qualifiers.

Talking about Tuesday's game at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Stimac said the display put on by his team showed that the players' fitness levels were at optimum levels.

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Qatar were dominant in the first half.

India will next take on Bangladesh on October 15 in the Group E clash of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers. "They spurred us on, cheering us all throughout", Gurpreet said. They created more chances.

Skipper Hassan Al-Haydos troubled right-back Rahul Bheke with his darting runs and powerful crosses, while Gurpreet was a busy man in the Indian goal.

In the second half, Qatar continued to attack but the Indians kept them at bay.

That was one of the few moments Sandhu was beaten.

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.

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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