World Cup Qualifiers, India hold Qatar: Key records and takeaways
The Indian men's national football team held Qatar to a 0-0 draw away from home at Doha in a key FIFA 2022 World qualifying match. To snatch a point against the Asian champions is one of the most stunning results for the Blue Tigers. After a 1-2 loss against Oman, India opened their account. Here's more on the same.
Many firsts for Blue Tigers against Qatar
This was the second competitive match between the two sides. Their earlier meeting was in 1996 during a World Cup qualifying campaign for the 1998 event. India had lost that match 0-6. India also became the only Asian nation against whom Qatar haven't won this year. The Blue Tigers also became the first Asian side to keep a clean sheet against Qatar in 2019.
India join these South American nations with this record
India became only the fourth nation in the world to thwart Qatar's attack in 2019. South American giants Brazil, Colombia and Argentina are the other three nations to clinch a clean sheet against the Asian powerhouse. This was the first match against an Asian outfit this year where Qatar failed to win. They had won eight out of eight before this match.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has come a long way
India's number one custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was the star of the show. He made a flurry of saves throughout the match in this crucial Group E encounter. His best moment came in the 20th minute as he made a fingertip save. He also stood tall against a flurry of long shots. Gurpreet has developed as a keeper and this performance stood out.
Qatar waste several opportunities to beat India
Qatar were wasteful throughout the game despite having a heap of shots. They had more than a dozen shots on target and dominated the match for larger parts 0f the game. However, the Qatar football players didn't find an opening as India frustrated them. This saw India playing on the counter. They hardly offered anything going front. Qatar will rue the chances they had.
It was a great experience for us, says Stimac
"Qatar deserved more from this game. They created more chances today but we also had many chances. It was a great experience for us. All credits to my players, I am very proud of my players," said India's head coach Igor Stimac.