FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Qatar vs India, combined hits and flops
India scripted a historic result as they held Asian Champions Qatar to a 0-0 draw at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. The ‘Blue Tigers’ played their hearts out and resisted the relentless attacks of the World-No.-62 side to fetch a vital away point in the 2022 World Cup qualifying match on Tuesday evening. This was by far India’s biggest achievement in recent years after the win over Thailand in the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year.
After adopting an ultra-defensive approach in the first half, India managed to create a few chances of themselves in the second half. Qatar pushed hard for the winner, but the Indians managed to keep the scoreline intact and leave the field with their heads held high.
A lot of positives emerged from the match with a few negatives as well. let us have a look and the hits and flops from the game:
#5 Nikhil Poojary (Flop)
It is hard to point the finger at someone on a such a special day for Indian football, but Nikhil Poojary was a shade dull than the rest of his compatriots. While Qatar was on the offensive for the most part of the game, the hosts showed urgency on the counter a few times. India’s attacks were mainly from the right-wing.
Nikhil Poojary failed to make use of the left channel and it remained inactive throughout the match. Ashique Kuruniyan put in a spectacular display in the left-wing against Oman last week. It was a tough ask for Nikhil to fill in his place, but the FC Pune City player could have given a better shot at it.
#4 Sandesh Jhingan (Hit)
After a great display against Oman in the opening qualifier, the defender continued his great run for the ‘Blue Tigers.’ He did an excellent job to put away the aerial balls, using his height to deny a free header to the opponents. Apart from that, he was rock-solid at the back and marked the strikers with authority.
Sandesh Jhingan made a remarkable block in the 54th minute of the match to prevent Abdel Aziz from taking a shot at goal. His partnership with Adil Khan in defence has been great. The stellar display from both the defenders made it hard for the hosts to penetrate or even take a shot at the goal.
#3 Manvir Singh (Flop)
It may be too harsh to single out a striker on a day where India had a handful of opportunities to convert, but Manvir Singh hardly made any difference in the final third. In the 52nd minute, Udanta Singh put in a delightful cross directed towards him, but he could not reach out to receive the ball. A simple tap in from the forward could have given India the lead.
It is a daunting task to replace Sunil Chhetri in his position, but Manvir was all over the place. he struggled quite a bit playing as an isolated striker. Although he improved a bit in the second half, it hardly had any effect.