Their preparation was removed from very best however India would take inspiration from the draw towards Asian champions Qatar in 2019 after they face the identical opponents within the second-leg match of the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers, right here on Thursday.
India had held mighty Qatar 0-Zero in September 2019 right here, a consequence thought of as the most effective for the facet in latest instances.
However India are enjoying their house match right here because the Qatari capital was chosen because the centralised venue for all of the remaining Group E matches after the qualifiers have been halted final 12 months as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
India’s efficiency, nonetheless, has gone south since then whereas Qatar, the group toppers, have come into Thursday match on a excessive.
They beat Luxembourg (1-0) and Azerbaijan (2-1) and performed out a 1-1 draw towards Eire within the worldwide pleasant matches in March.
India are coming into this match after a demoralising 0-6 drubbing towards the UAE in a global pleasant in March.
On prime of that, India’s preparation has been hit arduous as they needed to cancel a nationwide camp scheduled in early Might in Kolkata. The workforce reached right here on Might 19 solely to search out that the gamers wouldn’t get the services they might have needed.
Stimac himself had expressed the frustration, saying that it was “not an excellent preparation” for the World Cup qualifiers.
On the constructive facet, Stimac may have the possibility to area a full power Indian workforce after a very long time with all of the core gamers obtainable for choice and with out damage concern.
That 2019 match towards Qatar didn’t have talisman Sunil Chhetri because of a viral fever and his return will certainly increase the boldness of the younger Indian facet.
Chhetri additionally missed the 2 worldwide friendlies in March, together with the one towards UAE, as he was recovering from COVID-19 an infection.
However there shall be gulf is class between the 2 sides. Qatar are ranked 58th within the FIFA chart towards India’s 105th.
“Qatar are one of many prime groups in Asia. They’ve had some respectable outcomes towards prime European and South American groups within the latest previous,” Chhetri mentioned.
“The final time we took some extent towards them makes us assured as a workforce. We perceive that they may come out all weapons blazing at us, and we have to stick collectively as a workforce.”
In that drawn sport in 2019 additionally, Qatar dominated all through with waves of assaults on the Indian citadel. It was to the credit score of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Sandesh Jhingan-led defence that stood tall to disclaim the Qataris a win.
Presently fourth in Group E with three factors from 5 matches, India are already out of reckoning for a World Cup berth however nonetheless in rivalry for the 2023 Asian Cup.
Qatar have gained 5 out of their six matches in these qualifiers.
Boasting of a deadly attacking line-up with prime striker Almoez Ali and Hasan Al-Haydos main the pack, Qatar could be taking a look at nothing lower than a convincing win.
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Dheeraj Singh, Pritam Kotal, Rahul Bheke, Narender Gehlot, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Adil Khan, Akash Mishra, Subhashish Bose, Udanta Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Rowllin Borges, Glan Martins, Anirudh Thapa, Pronoy Halder, Suresh Singh, Lalengmawia Ralte, Abdul Sahal, Yasir Mohammad, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Bipin Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Ishan Pandita, Sunil Chhetri, Manvir Singh.
Match Begins: 10:30pm IST.