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  5. Cannot describe how proud I am: Sunil Chhetri lauds valiant teammates after goal-less draw against Qatar

Cannot describe how proud I am: Sunil Chhetri lauds valiant teammates after goal-less draw against Qatar

Sunil Chhetri, who sat the game out due to fever, praised his teammates after a gritty display against the Asian Champions Qatar in Doha.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Updated on: September 11, 2019 9:03 IST
World Cup Qualifiers

Cannot describe how proud I am: Sunil Chhetri lauds valiant teammates after goal-less draw against Qatar

India captain Sunil Chhetri missed out on their crucial match against Qatar in their World Cup qualifier but couldn't be stopped from supporting his boys despite being down with fever.

India put on a show of courage and determination after a poor show against Oman, where their lack of fitness levels cost them the game in the end. But, on Tuesday, Igor Stimac's men dug in and somehow manage to keep the ball away from their net after a barrage of shots from the Asian Champions in Doha.

And, Chhetri took to Twitter to express how happy he was.

"Dear India, THAT is my team and THOSE are my boys! Cannot describe how proud I am at this moment. Not a big result for the table, but in terms of a fight, as big as it can get. Huge credit to the coaching staff and the dressing room," Chhetri tweeted.

Gurpreet also took to Twitter to share his happiness after the result against Qatar.

"Definitely a night to remember, the effort, the will and the guts shown by everyone in the team was truly inspiring. This result will help us to keep grow as a team and as a Nation. Thank You to all the @indianfootball fans who came to support us, you were our pillar of strength," Gurpreet tweeted.

Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who also wore the captain's armband, was the star of the visiting side as he single-handedly stopped the Qataris from scoring any goal in the Group E match which will be remembered for long by the Indians.

It was, no doubt, one of the best results by India in recent times.

Qatar, ranked 62nd in the world, had more than two dozen shots on Indian goal out of which at least a dozen were on target. India, 103 in the latest FIFA rankings, on the other hand, had just two shots on the opposition goal in the entire match.

To the credit of the Indians, they defended brilliantly, maintained their shape throughout and did not give space to the speedy Qatari attackers.

In the first half, India expectedly sat deep and defended their citadel. The home side had at least half a dozen on-target shots and seven corners in the first half while India did not have any.

Sandhu was a busy man as he was called into action several times, but he remained unbeaten.

Qatar captain Hassan Al-Haydos had two shots early into the match but Sandhu was up to the task, including the brilliant finger-tip save in the 20th minute.

A mispass from Mandar Rao Desai in the 14th minute just outside the penalty box fell for Abdul Aziz Hatem, but his curling strike flew just above the crossbar.

A free header off Boualem Khoukhi in the 26th minute was also off the target as India escaped unscathed in the first half.

The second half saw India opening up a bit and they were seeing more of the opposition goal than the first half but still could not get a clear goal-bound shot.

India now have one point from two matches while Qatar have four points as they had beaten Afghanistan 6-0 in their first match. 

(With inputs from PTI)

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