Published: Wed, September 11, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

India vs Qatar: ‘Everyone played their hearts out’: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

India vs Qatar: ‘Everyone played their hearts out’: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

The Sunil Chhetri-less Indian team survived the constant onslaught from AFC Champions Qatar at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in their second Group E match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 joint qualifiers.

Historically, Qatar has been the dominant side, having won three out of four official matches played against India. After a very good present towards Qatar, India's coach Igor Stimac stated that he was very happy to get some extent from the match.

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.

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

Captain Sunil Chhetri, who scored the lone Indian goal against Oman in the 24th minute, conceded that Tuesday's match will be the most hard of the campaign.

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. And it was no surprise that Qatar's first real chance came from a set-piece.

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

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Bangladesh is the other team in the group and will play India on October 15 in Kolkata. "They spurred us on, cheering us all throughout", Gurpreet said.

Towards the end, Qatar were incisive and created a number of chances but were unable to bury them. A move between AnirudhThapa and Udanta Singh, saw the last named shot going inches over the crossbar.

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 first half he made many saves but in the 25th minute India defense nearly caved in as Haydos curling corner towards the far post saw an unmarked Boualem Khoukhi heading it wide much to the relief of the Indian supporters.

That was one of the few moments Sandhu was beaten.

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

The match will start from 10 PM IST and will be live on Star Sports 3 and Asianet Plus.

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