India become first Asian side to avoid defeat against AFC Asian Cup champions Qatar in 2019

India are the first Asian side out of nine who have managed to hold Qatar to a draw in the current year...
The defence of India was tested to the hilt by Qatar’s attackers but the Blue Tigers held firm to hold the reigning AFC Asian Cup champions to a goal-less draw at Doha on Tuesday.

It took a tremendous individual effort from goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and the entire India defence to walk away with a draw in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying clash but it is a clean sheet that deserves massive respect.

With that Herculean effort at Doha, India have become the first Asian side that Qatar have failed to beat in 2019. Felix Sanchez’s men have been in scorching form all year, especially on Asian soil where they have won eight matches out of eight.

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In those eight matches, Qatar’s prolific attack has managed to score a staggering 25 goals which puts India’s clean sheet on the night into context

The hard-earned draw is less than what Asian heavyweights Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates managed against Qatar this year as such, is one to savour for Igor Stimac and his men.

Let alone a draw, no other Asian side has managed a shut-out against the Asian champions this year which makes India’s achievement on the night all the more remarkable.

In fact, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia are the only other teams apart from India who have walked away with a clean-sheet against Qatar this year.

It took its share of poor finishing from Qatar and a stellar display from Gurpreet Singh to achieve that result but it is one that India can take plenty of confidence from.