The Indian football team produced a stunning display of defence and grit to earn a goalless draw against the reigning Asian Champions Qatar in their own backyard. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu produced an inhuman display of goalkeeping to keep the scoreline 0-0 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.
Qatar kicked-off the game with high intensity as they created one attack after another right from the word go. The initial minutes saw the Indian defenders taking time to get hold of Qatari attack as the hosts created a series of goal-scoring chances. But as the game aged, the Indian backline took control of the proceeding and denied Qatar by every means possible.
Gurpreet was at his brilliant best as he saved one and all that was unleashed towards him by the Qatari players. Failing to penetrate the Indian defence in front of the box, the home team had resorted to long-rangers. They teaed the Indian goal with one long-ranger after another but Gurpreet stood his ground firmly as he denied every one of them.
The second half saw the Igor Stimac-led side trying to open the game a bit as they built some counter-attacks. Rather than empty clearance, the likes of Anirudh Thapa and Udanta Singh tried to take it deep into the Qatari box and created two genuine goal-scoring chances. This tactic frustrated the hosts further as they upped their ante of attack to avail no failure from the Sandesh Jhingans and the Adil Khans.
As the game entered the dying minutes, Stimac used his substitutes cleverly as he replaced Anirudh Thapa with Narender Gahlot and took in Sahal Abdul Samad for Vinit Rai to further strengthen the defence line. This move from the Indan coach reaped Blue Tigers the fruit they wanted as they held Qatar 0-0 to earn a crucial away point. This match was anticipated as the toughest challenge for India and one point from it could well be an equivalent to a win.