India vs Qatar FIFA World Cup Qualifier: 10 man India fall to 1-0 loss against Qatar
The Indians at no point in time seemed to be of any match to the Asian heavyweights and had their dreams of qualifying for the World Cup crushed at the hands of Qatar.
The Indian football team fell to a 1-0 loss against the much higher-ranked Qatar in their league match of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers today. The Indians at no point in time seemed to be of any match to the Asian heavyweights and had their dreams of qualifying for the World Cup crushed at the hands of Qatar.
The Blue Tigers were put under heavy pressure right from the word go by the Qataris, and if not for custodian Gurpreet Singh's valiant efforts, the scoreline could have been even worse. Defender Rahul Bheke was shown a yellow card just 10 minutes into the match for a rather clumsy challenge and was sent off the field seven minutes after for a deliberate handball, leaving India down to 10 men.
The Qataris, who were already a bit too hot for the Indians, sensed the opportunity and started pressing hard. This led to Abdulaziz Hatem breaking the deadlock from close range at 34th minute, thanks to a defensive lapse, to put Qatar 1-0 ahead.
The Indians did have some chances just before Hatem gave Qatar a lead, but skipper Sunil Chettri was found offside in the 21st minute, while Manvir Singh missed a tough cross from Ashique Kuruniyan in the 28th minute.
The first half ended with India facing a whopping 18 shots – the most they had faced in a single half with Igor Stimac at the helm.
The second half started on a rather interesting note for India, with Stimac replacing Chettri with Udanta Singh in the attack. But the rest of the half had a set suit – Qatar on constant attacks, Gurpreet saving shot after shot with the defence chipping in occasionally, while the rest of the Indian team kept gasping for non-existent counterattacks.
To keep their chance of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup alive, India could not have afforded any result other than a win. With the World Cup out of reach, even mathematically, now Blue Tigers need to have their eyes set on the AFC Asian Cup when they take on Bangladesh and Afghanistan next.