World Cup Qualifiers: India can repeat Qatar heroics, says Gurpreet Singh Sandhu | Soccer Information

Blue Tigers face Asian champs on Thursday
PANAJI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was merely unbeatable within the FIFA World Cup qualifier towards Qatar on the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.
The India goalkeeper got here up with 11 saves to maintain the rampaging Asian champions at bay on September 10, 2019. It was for the primary time that Qatar dropped factors towards Asian opposition, and because the groups put together to face off once more on Thursday, Gurpreet believes they’ll proceed to punch above the load.
“It is not inconceivable,” Gurpreet informed TOI in a video name on Tuesday. “If we now have completed it towards Qatar (previously), we will do once more. We imagine in our skills. Everyone seems to be hungry to play for the nation once more.”
India are returning to the qualifiers after 18 months and should begin successful, sooner relatively than later. With the third-placed staff assured of a direct spot within the third spherical of the Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers, Igor Stimac‘s facet should win two of their three video games.
Then there may be the matter of wiping out reminiscences of the embarrassing 0-6 defeat towards UAE when the nationwide staff final made an look. In Gurpreet’s eyes, there are different causes too.
“The scenario (as a consequence of coronavirus pandemic) will not be all that nice proper now. Everybody needs to have one thing good occurring of their life and this shall be our likelihood to supply that to the individuals of our nation,” mentioned India’s numero uno goalkeeper.
Earlier than the pandemic paralysed the world, India have been on the street to restoration. The well-known draw towards Qatar was preceded by a powerful exhibiting, though for 80 minutes, towards Oman in Guwahati. It took Bangladesh and Afghanistan to later puncture everybody’s perception.
“It is tough to guage a staff in the midst of a pandemic,” mentioned Gurpreet. “Earlier than the pandemic, we had a transparent roadmap. We transitioned into a superb staff, a staff tough to play towards. Issues have been occurring fairly properly.
“However not taking part in any worldwide soccer for 14 months, then cease once more and play, it isn’t a straightforward job to do. To attempt to pay money for issues is a problem. We should always be sure that these issues do not come to our thoughts.”
The 29-year-old goalkeeper, solely Indian to function within the Europa League – European soccer’s second-tier membership competitors – believes India’s fourth place within the group, with three factors from 5 matches, is a good reflection of what they’ve completed within the qualifiers.
The draw towards Asian champions Qatar will rank as one of the best efficiency in latest occasions, though they now want to begin successful, one thing they’ve didn’t do in 5 matches up to now.
“You may say that we’re those answerable for how we now have performed within the earlier video games. We may have completed much more. We all know how shut we have been towards Oman in each video games, residence and away. To get going, it takes time. We had a transition of coaches and techniques.
“We’ve got to begin another time, with the conflict towards Qatar. Once we performed them final, we have been resilient, gave all the things and there have been some sparks of us making an attempt to get a aim as properly, and never simply defending.
“If somebody would have provided me an possibility of taking a draw towards Qatar at their residence (within the first leg), I’d have taken it. Lot of individuals wrote us off even earlier than that recreation began. To go on the market and play towards one of the best staff in Asia, I feel it was an important efficiency and nice achievement. We have to do it once more,” mentioned Gurpreet.
India face Asian champions Qatar on June 3, adopted by Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June15).

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