As India held Asian champions Qatar to a goalless draw in the qualifying tournament for the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said that he is extremely proud of what the team achieved in Doha.
The result can be seen as a remarkable effort as Qatar is placed at the 62nd position in the FIFA rankings whereas India is on the 103rd spot. Gurpreet also wore the captain's armband in the match as regular skipper Sunil Chhetri was ruled out due to viral infection.
"I feel extremely proud of the team for our performance against Qatar. The team-effort helped us achieve the result. It will help us immensely in the qualifiers. We have played just two matches, and we have played well, that too against two powerful teams. It gives us that added motivation and confidence that in football, anything is possible," All India Football Federation (AIFF) quoted Gurpreet as saying.
"Everyone played their hearts out, and gave everything out on the pitch. That enabled us to come back to the dressing room, satisfied, and with a very crucial point," he added.
The 27-year-old goalkeeper proved to be a wall for the team as he made several saves, not allowing Qatar to register a goal.
India had faced a 1-2 defeat against Oman in their first match of the tournament, but this result against Qatar has given the Blue Tigers their first point in the qualifying tournament.
The Arjuna award nominee thanked the fans for coming out in big numbers to support the team in Doha.
"It was like playing at home away from home. The support was incredible. They spurred us on, cheering us all throughout," Gurpreet said.
Qatar is leading the group with four points from two matches while India is placed at the fourth spot with one point.
The Blue Tigers will next face Bangladesh in the tournament on October 15.
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