“Won’t Give Up” the emblem for the Blue Tigers ahead of the tough Qatar clash

Current FIFA Rankings place the Indian National Team in 103rd position. Whereas, the Asian giants, Qatar are miles ahead of their counterparts with their ranking at 62.

Current FIFA Rankings place the Indian National Team in 103rd position. Whereas, the Asian giants, Qatar are miles ahead of their counterparts with their ranking at 62.

The Blue Tigers are gearing up to lock horns against the 2019 Asian Cup winners, the Copa America participants – Qatar Football Team for the joint qualification of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup.

The Qatar team is managed by an experienced Spaniard, Felix Sanchez Bas, who led the team to their 2019 Asian Cup triumph. However, their coach claimed that India is playing good football. They put up a commendable show on their previous outing. Nonetheless, the history book points out that the Indian team has never won a match against Qatar. India played Qatar way back in 1996, which was the game for the 1998 World Cup qualifiers.

Nevertheless, as the team take on Qatar in the Group E match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023 joint qualifiers, Indian National Team Head Coach Igor Stimac stressed: “anything is possible in football.” Stimac was speaking at the official pre-match press conference in Doha.

“I know the Qatar team pretty well. Their physical strength is great, and their technical capabilities and movements are fantastic. It’s difficult to find any weak point in their squad, but everything is possible in football” Stimac stated.

The football season in Qatar has already begun. The players are match ready and look in great shape. Most of the players of the Qatari outfit are from Al Sadd SC, a team coached by the Spanish legend, Xavi and the Al-Duhail SC, a team coached by Rui Faria. In fact, Al-Sadd SC is set to play the second leg of the AFC Champions League Quarter-Finals against Al Nassr.

It is a very difficult task in hand, keeping in mind that the Indian team are likely to miss out their prolific leader, Sunil Chhetri due to his illness concerns. Also, the fitness and technical capabilities of the home team Qatar are way better than their Indian counterparts.

The Arjuna awardee, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, mentioned that it is a “good opportunity to play Qatar.” “Not getting a result against Oman was disappointing for us. But as a player, you have to take it in your stride, and move on to the next challenge. We think it’s a good opportunity to play against Qatar. We will try our best, and try to get a result from the game,” Gurpreet commented.

The two teams have just met once at the senior level, way back in 1996, Qatar had pumped in half a dozen, winning 6-0 in the World Cup Qualifiers for FIFA World Cup France 1998. Apart from that, the two countries have met four times in U-23 competitions with Qatar having won thrice, while the other ended in a draw.

The match will take place at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha and will kick-off at IST 10 PM (7.30 PM local time) today (September 10, 2019).


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