Today is the second match of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. India was so close to winning the first match against Oman but they lost their resilience and went down losing 1-2 from being leading 1-0 till 81 minutes.
India looked exceptionally good, they were solid in both attack and defence for most part of the game. Team looked in complete control for at least 60 minutes of the game then slowly started to wear out in last 30 minutes and that eventually lead to Oman attacking and finding two very late goals. It was certainly a promising performance from Team India and it gives us hope to be optimistic and see our Men in Blue achieve something during these qualifiers. Igor Stimac’s tactics and player choices are showing improvements in the team’s performances. But India’s next fixture come against the best team in Asia, Qatar – the Asia cup champions 2019.
Qatar will be in high in confidence after the 6-0 win against Afghanistan on Thursday. Qatar, ranked 62 in the world, are the real though opponents for India. It will be interesting to watch how India play out games against Qatar under the mentorship of Igor Stimac. Though it is our second game out of total eight games but we have to be on our top performance from the go. Other teams in the group are Afghanistan and Bangladesh which sounds like an easy fixtures for Team India. We have got relatively an easier group and avoided big teams. If we get some points against Qatar we can start dreaming again of progressing to another round. With 7 games (including game today) left we have full chance of qualifying and should be looking to qualify to next round.
We do have a remarkable bunch of players. Some of the players to look out for in upcoming qualifiers for team India –
Sunil Chhetri – Top leading scorer for our national team. Always a reliable player and at the age of 35, still going strong and we hope he continues to play for us for many more years to come. Although he may miss a crucial game against Qatar today. He is suffering from high fever from past three days confirmed by the coach Igor.
Udanta Singh – An exciting young player which runs down the wings for India. At age 23, he looks to have a bright future ahead of him and our national team. He can play both sides on the wings. He can beat defenders with his pace and skills.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – He was on red hot form in the last match. He has been significantly a reliable keeper for our national team. He still has many more years to serve our country being aged only 27. Gurpreet is very good in air catching and clearing the danger.
Sandesh Jhingan – A very strong figure in the defence. With his physique he has advantages of jumping in air and clearing the danger and muscling out opposition players. He is 26 years old. Still a long journey ahead.
Muhammad Ashique Kuruniyan – He played his heart out in the previous game against Oman. He was not fully fit for the game but gave his all and was quoted after the game saying – “There was only one thing on my mind – I have to play like it is the last game of my life,” he said. “I had decided that I will give my all against Oman. After the injury, I never thought I will get my chance to come back so early and so, I was motivated to leave everything out on the pitch.” He is 22 years old and is a promising young winger.
Historically, Qatar have been the dominant side, having won three out of four official matches played against India. One match ended in a draw. But our new team has promising bunch of players and this could go either way. So get behind our Men in Blue and cheer for them today against Qatar at 22:00 (IST). Match will be played in Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Qatar.