India lose 0-1 to Qatar in WC qualifying round match
A 10-man India defended creditably well as they suffered a 0-1 defeat to Asian champions Qatar in their World Cup qualifying round match in Doha on Thursday. Abdel Aziz scored in the 33rd minute in a match completely dominated by the Qataris. The two sides had played out a goalless draw in their first leg match in September 2019.
Qatar put up an extremely aggressive performance
The result meant that India's slim mathematical chances of qualifying were over. Group toppers Qatar, who are yet to lose a match, had waves of attacks with their eight to nine players in the Indian half for most of the time. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had to pull off a series of saves to keep the margin of loss small.
India was down to 10 men from 17th minute onward
India, however, played with 10 men from the 17th minute onward after defender Rahul Bheke was red-carded after a second booking. He had earlier received a yellow card in the ninth minute. India did have two good moves in the match from counterattacks with Manvir Singh in the thick of things on both occasions.
India remains in the fourth spot in Group E
India captain Sunil Chhetri, who returned to the team after recovering from a COVID-19 infection, was replaced by Udanta Singh at the resumption of the second half. A winless India remained in the fourth spot in Group E. Igor Stimac's men are two points behind Afghanistan (third with five points) who played out a 1-1 draw against Bangladesh yesterday.