FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2022: India 0-1 Qatar - 4 things we learned 

Indian players during the team photo
Indian players during the team photo

India faced Qatar in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2022 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar. In the first leg, India managed to hold Qatar to a 0-0 draw.

India's chances of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2022 were over even before the match kicked off. India is aiming to get a direct spot for the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers.

The match started on a bright note for Qatar, as the hosts of the FIFA World Cup 2022 took the game under its control right from the first minute.

Qatar took the lead in the 33rd minute through an Abdulaziz Hatem strike. The scoreboard at halftime read 1-0 in favor of Qatar.

In the second half, Qatar kept playing their high press and constant attacking game. The game ended with the scoreboard reading 1-0 in favor of Qatar.

On that note, let us take a look at four things we learned from the game.

Rahul Bheke (centre being hugged) was sent of in the 17th minute today
Rahul Bheke (centre being hugged) was sent of in the 17th minute today

#4 Rahul Bheke's red card hampers India's plans

Rahul Bheke got sent off in the 17th minute of the game after seeing his second yellow of the game. Bheke saw his first yellow in the 9th minute of the game. He was given his marching orders in the 17th minute for handling the ball.

The first yellow that Rahul Bheke was shown was a soft yellow card, and the referee could have let him go with just a warning.

It was going fine for India until the 16th minute, but after Bheke was sent off, India's plans were dealt a huge blow.

Glan Martins made his debut for India today
Glan Martins made his debut for India today

#3 Lack of cohesion between Indian forwards and midfielders

India started the game with Ashique, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh, Pritam and Subhaish Bose in defense. Glan Martins and Suresh Singh were the two central midfielders, while Bipin, Manvir and Sunil Chhetri were the players up front.

While the defense and midfield kept a compact shape and made sure not much space was awarded to the Qatar players, the cohesion between the midfield and forwards was missing. The lack of cohesion could be because this is the first time this combination of midfielders and forwards are playing together.

Another factor for the lack of attacking intent was the red card to Rahul Bheke, which forced Manvir to drop deep more often and help out the defenders.

Qatari strikers weren
Qatari strikers weren't at their best today.

#2 Poor display from strikers of both teams

Qatar had a total of 38 shots, ten on target and yet managed to score just one goal. India, on the other hand, managed to have just one shot during the game, which was off the mark.

Qatari strikers like Mohammed Muntari and Almoez Ali were guilty of missing some good chances.

Manvir Singh was guilty of squandering two good opportunities for India.

Manvir failed to connect with a cross from Ashique in the first half and missed the judgment of a pass from midfield which should have been a simple tap-in for him.

A lot of credit should also be given to Gurpreet Singh Sandhu to keep the score at just 1-0. The Bengaluru FC shot-stopper had another terrific game under the bar. It was due to his heroics that India managed to keep the score respectable.

Igor Stimac needs to win the remaining two games.
Igor Stimac needs to win the remaining two games.

#1 Igor Stimac's side winless in eleven games now

The Indian national team is going through its biggest winless streak this century after failing to win a game in eleven games now. Igor Stimac's only victory as India's national team coach came in May 2019 when his side beat Thailand 1-0 in the King's cup.

Igor has been questioned for his tactics in some games, especially in the Intercontinental Cup and in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

India have failed to win even a single game so far in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers. As things stand, Igor Stimac needs to win both the remaining games if India are to secure a direct spot in the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

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Edited by Rohit Mishra
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