A gritty India survived waves of assaults from Qatar to carry the reigning Asian champion to a goalless draw and steal an surprising level from its away match of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers right here on Tuesday.
Regardless of enjoying with out talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri — laid low by fever — India denied Qatar, which gained the Asian Cup in January, regardless of the house facet having greater than a dozen pictures heading in the right direction.
Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who additionally wore the captain’s armband, was the star as he single-handedly baulked Qatar within the Group E match.
It was, little doubt, top-of-the-line outcomes by India in current occasions.
India, which had suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Oman in its opening match on September 5 in Guwahati, now has one level from two matches whereas Qatar has 4 after its 6-Zero win over Afghanistan in its first match right here.
India subsequent performs Bangladesh on October 15 in Kolkata.
It was a totally one-sided match with Qatar doing all of the assault and the Indians defending of their half for many a part of the match.
Qatar, ranked 62nd on the planet, had greater than two dozen pictures out of which not less than a dozen had been heading in the right direction. India, 103 within the newest FIFA rankings, however, had simply two pictures on the opposition objective in your entire match.
To the credit score of the Indians, they defended brilliantly, maintained their form all through and didn’t give house to the speedy Qatari attackers.
Within the first half, India expectedly sat deep and defended its citadel. The house facet had not less than half a dozen on-target pictures and 7 corners within the first half whereas India didn’t have any.
Sandhu was a busy man as he was referred to as into motion a number of occasions however he remained unbeaten.
Qatar captain Hassan Al-Haydos had two pictures early into the match however Sandhu was as much as the duty, together with the sensible finger-tip save within the 20th minute.
A mispass from Mandar Rao Desai within the 14th minute simply exterior the penalty field fell for Abdul Aziz Hatem, however his curling strike flew simply above the crossbar.
A free header off Boualem Khoukhi within the 26th minute was additionally off the goal as India escaped unscathed within the first half.
The second half noticed India opening up a bit and it was seeing extra of the opposition objective than the primary half however nonetheless couldn’t get a transparent goal-bound shot.
Sahal Samad was sensible within the midfield as he, on a number of events, acquired the higher of his opponents and despatched high quality passes to the likes of Udanta Singh.
India acquired its first nook within the 66th minute. Anirudha Thapa delivered an extended nook and Sahal took a left-footed half volley from simply exterior the field which flew inches away from the precise publish.
Igor Stimac made 4 adjustments to his facet from the 11 that began in opposition to Oman. Ashique Kuruniyan has a slight niggle and Nikhil Poojary took his place. Brandon Fernandes and Subhasish Bose had been changed by Sahal Samad and Mandar Rao Desai.
Qatar head coach Felix Sanchez, however, made two adjustments. Akram Afif and Karim Boudiaf had been compelled out on account of accidents they usually had been changed by Bassam Hisham and Abdul Aziz Hatem.