India holds Asian champ Qatar to draw: FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier, as it happened

Follow the LIVE score and updates of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier between India and Qatar from the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium, Doha.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has put a commendable performance at goal for India.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier between India and Qatar. This is Manasi Pathak and I will keep you company through the game. Watch this space!

 

- That was all from my side. Thanks for tuning in and see you soon!

- So, the final whistle goes off to a delighted Indian side walking off with a draw against Asian champion and 62nd-ranked team Qatar. It was a disciplined performance from the Indian side, which was without the services of skipper Chhetri and midfielder Ashique. Gurpreet took charge from the back and the Indian defensive line did well to not leak any goals tonight. India had only a handful of shots but that didn't matter in the end as its good defensive display won it an important result against perhaps the toughest team in the group.

FULL TIME: QATAR 0-0 INDIA- The Indian team restricts Qatar to a draw, thanks to heroics from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The goalkeeper led by example in the absence of skipper Sunil Chhetri. With the draw against the Asian champion, India earns its first point of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

90+2' - Defender Narendar Gahlot comes on for midfielder Anirudh Thapa.

90' - SAVE! Gurpreet easily collects the ball from an effort from Abdelkarim. Four minutes have been added on here.

86' - SAVE! Gurpreet saves Abdelkarim's long-range effort! After the clearance, Abdurisag Ismaiel Mohammed takes a shot, which bounces off the crossbar!

82' - SO CLOSE! Udanta's curler from outside the box flies over the bar after he cuts in from the right wing and combines with Thapa. Can the Indian winger turn the result around? Eight minutes of regulation time pending here.

80' - Alaaeldin's header goes off target after Salman pulls back the ball for him. Later, Al Haydos' effort from the left-side lands in the safe hands of Gurpreet!

76' - Stimac brings on Vinit Rai for midfielder Sahal, who had a good show for India today. Just under 15 minutes of regulation time pending here.

70' - Qatar midfielder Ahmed Alaaedin comes on for Hatem as the visitor makes its first change too.

68' - First change for India as Stimac brings on Brandon Fernandes, who replaces Nikhil Poojary.

65' - CHANCE! Sahal sends it wide. First corner for India and Thapa takes it. He sends the delivery past everyone in the box but Sahal pounces on the ball as he tries to swing it in. The effort, however, misses the mark.

60' - The one-hour mark is here. It is still 0-0 at Doha as the Indian defence, led by captain Gurpreet has kept Qatar away from goal.

58' - Madibo brings down an onrushing Sahal with a challenge from behind. He gets a yellow card and the Indians are furious!

56' - Borges brings down Qatar captain Al Haydos just outside the box and the referee shows him the yellow card.

54' - BLOCKED! 54' Abdel Aziz finds space inside the box and pulls the trigger, but Jhingan flies across the turf and blocks the shot!

52' - CHANCE! Udanta runs down the right wing in full speed after Sahal feeds him with a pass from the midfield. However, Udanta's cross flashes across the face of goal as Manvir fails to get to the end of it.

49' - Abdurisag is offside again! Skipper Al Haydos picks out his team-mate in the box, who makes the run towards goal. Al Haydos' delivery is saved by Gurpreet, but Abdurisag was offside and the linesman raises the flag!

- SECOND HALF -

HALF TIME: QATAR 0-0 INDIA: Following a nervy last five minutes, India somehow manages to walk off the field with a clean slate, all thanks to a solid Gurpreet Singh Sandhu at goal. With no Sunil Chhetri in the team, the Blue Tigers have failed to put up any attacking threat, but a disciplined Indian defence has successfully kept Qatar quiet. Considering Qatar was 4-0 up against Afghanistan in the last game at half-time, this is a scoreline for India at the break.

45' -  SAVE! Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulls off two big saves in a matter of five minutes as he denies Hassan and Ali at goal with his heroics at goal. The Indian goalkeeper has single handedly managed to keep India away from conceding just moments before the break.

40' - In Chhetri's absence, there has been little to no attacking display put up by the Blue Tigers. But, you have to admit that their defence has been commendable so far as the Qatari side hasn't found the net yet. Five minutes of regulation time pending here.

37' - Al Haydos goes down in an animated manner inside the box as he is nudged by Bheke. The Qatar captain wants a penalty, but the referee isn't interested.

36' - Qatar wins a free-kick and who else other than the star player and skipper Al Haydos to take it! He takes the set-piece and sends the ball near the wall, only to see the ball headed away by an alert Adil Khan.

33' - OFFSIDE! Abdurisag is flagged offside for the second time, just as he was set up by Ali in the box.

30' - The half-hour mark is here. It has been Qatar's half so far - the host nation is attacking well, preying on the Indian defence. However, Qatar hasn't done enough to find the goal yet.

25' - Corner for Qatar and skipper Al Haydos takes the set-piece. His delivery from the corner is headed away by Poojary, but only as far as Boualem Khoukhi, who takes an attempt off a header. However, his effort misses the goal.

21' - SAVED! Gurpreet rises high as he keeps out the attempt from Al Haydos, who shoots from the left-side. The Qatar skipper has been a livewire so far!

20' - OFFSIDE! Pedro Correia attacks the Indian box as he tries to team up with Hatim inside the box. Hatim plays the ball for Almoez Ali, who cannot get the ball past defender Sandesh Jhingan. However, the flag goes up as Hatim was offside.

19' - Thapa goes down on the field following a high-boot challenge from Yusuf Abdurisag. He receives treatment for the same and looks better now.

17' - Second corner for Qatar and Abdelaziz steps up for it. His effort is headed away by Poojary for a third corner. The third corner sees goalkeeper Gurpreet avert the danger.

14' - ALMOST! Abdelaziz Hatim nearly finds the goal as he pounces on a loose pass by Mandar Rao Dessai! The Indian defender was unalert as he passed the ball into the path of the Qatar attacker, whose effort just flew over the bar.

10' - Corner-kick for Qatar as Gurpreet keeps out Al Haydos' effort. From the set-piece, Al Haydos sends the ball in the box, aiming for Abdelkarim Hassan at the far post. Hassan stretches out his foot but fails to connect with the delivery.

7' - On the counter, Qatar's Boualem Khoukhi finds captain Hassan Al Haydos up front, but the Qatar skipper shoots it straight to Indian custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

6' - Some attacking promise from India as Udanta Singh rushes from the right flank. He plays the ball in the middle for Manvir Singh, who sends it through to Anirudh Thapa. However, Nikhil Poojary breaks the chain of passes as he loses control of the ball on the left wing.

5' - Qatar tries to build action from the left flank and Yusuf Abdurisag gets the final pass. He tries to pull off a cross from the right-side, but the delivery takes a deflection off Mandar Rao Dessai.

2' - Qatar's Abdelaziz Hatem threatens the Indian defence as he tries to set up Yusuf Abdurisag inside the box. The latter tries to make his way into the box from the right but the effort is intercepted. Early attacking display from Qatar already!

1' - KICK-OFF!

- FIRST HALF -

- The two teams are walking on to the field now. The national anthems will be sung soon. India is wearing its traditional blue, while Qatar is donning the red colour.

- Remember, India must finish in the top two of Group E to qualify for the third round.

100

Will India be able to put up a good show in the absence of fan-favourite Sunil Chhetri?   -  AIFF Media

 

READ | Qatar vs India: Qatar golden stars to watch out for

- Saad Al Sheeb and Almoez Ali start for Qatar tonight. The two players are big names to watch out for. Almoez Ali struck nine goals at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup to become Asian Cup's most successful striker ever, going past Iranian legend Ali Daei. Saad Al Sheeb, on the other hand, was a rock-solid presence between the sticks for Qatar, as he conceded only one goal at the same tournament.

READ | Qatar vs India: Blue Tigers looking to get lucky again at Al-Sadd Stadium

- The last time Qatar hosted India at Doha's Al-Sadd Stadium (Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium), the Indian football team secured a remarkable 2-1 victory. Sunil Chhetri scored from the spot and Sushil Singh also found the target. The match, however, was not considered an official international friendly since India had used more than the allowed number of substitutions.

- Four changes for India from the squad that faced Oman- Subhasish Bose, Brandon Fernandes, Ashique Kuruniyan and Sunil Chhetri have been replaced with Mandar Rao Dessai, Sahal Abdul Samad, Nikhil Poojari and Manvir Singh.

- BIG BLOW FOR INDIA! SUNIL CHHETRI IS NOT NAMED IN INDIA'S XI TO FACE QATAR. The Indian skipper was reported to be down with high fever and had missed the training sessions in Doha. The Indian talisman won't feature at all tonight at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Team news:

India starting XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu; Rahul Bheke, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Mandar Rao Dessai, Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Manvir Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Udanta Singh.

India substitutes: Kamaljit Singh, Amrinder Singh, Subhasish Bose, Anas Edathodika, Narender Gahlot, Brandon Fernandes, Ashique Kuruniyan, Balwant Singh, Vinit Rai, Pritam Kotal, Lallianzuala Chhangte.

Qatar starting XI: Saad Al Sheeb, Pedro Miguel Correia, Abdelkarim Hassan, Tarek Salman, Abdulaziz Hatem, Hasan Al Haydos, Yusuf Abdurisag, Bassam Al Rawi, Boualem Khoukhi, Almoez Ali, Assim Madibo.

Qatar substitutes: Ali Afif, Abdulaziz Alansari, Ismaiel Mohammed, Ahmed Alaaeldin, Ahmed Fatahy, Musaab Khidir, Almahdi Ali, Abdullah Al Ahraq, Salem Al Hajri, Yazan Naim, Meshaal Barsham, Hashim Ali Abdullatif.

 

MATCH PREVIEW

India faces Qatar in its second match of the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifiers today at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. The Blue Tigers come on the back of a 1-2 loss to Oman on home soil in Guwahati, while the host nation comes on the back of a 6-0 thrashing of Afghanistan.

India let in two goals in the last eight minutes after taking an early lead to lose the opening match against Oman on September 5.

Ranked 62nd in the world, Qatar will start against 103-ranked India as the overwhelming favourite.

The World Cup host has improved by leaps and bounds in the last few years. It won the Asian Cup in the UAE earlier this year and gave good competition to the top South American sides in the recent Copa America where it took part on invitation.

India's progress has been less spectacular. The team failed to go past the group stage at the Asian Cup in 2019.

India has a new coach in Croatia's Igor Stimac, who has instilled a refreshing attacking style of play and has encouraged the boys to play the ball from the back as opposed to the typical long punt forward approach.