India Football Coach Expects More Support Before Bangladesh Clash

Qatar India

The Indian football team will face their most daunting test yet when they take on Asian champions Qatar in a World Cup qualifying game here on Tuesday.

The Blue Tigers had to withstand tremendous pressure from the home side throughout the ninety minutes but they held firm at the back to open their account in Group E.

The Indian team, under new coach Igor Stimac, had a disappointing start to the campaign last week as they suffered a narrow 1-2 loss against Oman at home. Even without a talismanic Sunil Chhetri, who couldn't turn out for this clash due to a viral infection, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu led from the front to take India to one of their most significant results in recent history.

India is placed in Group-E of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers along with Oman, Qatar, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

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

"We are, however, looking forward to it.there will be a fight, no matter who we play".

The premier stadium has already played host to the Men's Hockey World Cup, Asian Athletics Championship and other worldwide championships.

"Qatar had more chances than us". All credits to my players, I am very proud of my players.

"You see, I can not reply to each comment after a game because not many people are well educated about football".

And though the dying minutes of the game saw Qatar throw the kitchen sink at India in search of the victor, the Blue Tigers held their ground to walk away with a point from the home of the Asian champions. "They defended with such concentration throughout, which really proves their fitness capacity", the 52-year old coach said.

At the final whistle, the team celebrated a famous result with the sold-out away section inside the stadium. We played against Qatar and we made space for ourselves even in the last minutes. "But we are satisfied with the commitment exhibited by the government to complete all the work that is required to obtain the full ratification", she said.

Cricket is king in India with football a distant second in the list of the country's favourite sports, though most fans rarely pay attention to Indian soccer, instead preferring to watch the English Premier League (EPL) or German Bundesliga.

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