‘The self-belief was immense’: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu on India’s draw in Qatar

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the first-choice goalkeeper of India, credited the crew’s self-belief and cohesion as being the decisive elements behind India’s spectacular 0-0 draw in opposition to Qatar in Doha in September 2019.

The 29-year-old shot-stopper put up a heroic show between the sticks that evening, registering 11 saves in the FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier on the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in opposition to the AFC Asian Cup holders.

Gurpreet, who’s at the moment with the nationwide crew in Doha for an upcoming FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier in opposition to Qatar on June 3, reminisced about that goalless draw in an interview with AIFF.

“The plan on matchday was to make life tough for Qatar. They’d received the AFC Asian Cup earlier that yr and had been buzzing after enjoying in the Copa America. We needed to keep compact in opposition to them, and take our probabilities each time we smelt a counter. And with that, we needed to combat with every thing. Everybody was determined to contribute – everybody was making an attempt their greatest,” he informed AIFF.

“The clock began ticking, and we began to develop in confidence. The primary-half ended goalless. We might gauge the frustrations round because the predictions that we might be whitewashed weren’t coming true. It allowed us to breathe a bit extra. We realised we had been heading in the proper path.”

india football, india vs qatar, india world cup, india fifa qualifiers, Qatar 2022 India gamers in motion in opposition to Qatar in Doha in September 2019. (File)

“‘Take some blows guys, we will do it,’ was the sentiment. The strain was large, however the perception was extra.”

“The dynamics had been even higher in the second half. Seeing Sahal, Udanta dribble previous the perfect in Asia was a message which hit them arduous. It was an excellent enhance. We weren’t simply defending, relatively we had been attacking and pushing them on the again foot on events.”

“Virtually everybody I converse to at all times makes me bear in mind in regards to the Qatar match. However should you ask me, that isn’t my greatest efficiency to date. I perceive that in the Qatar match, we obtained a outcome – and therefore, it’s going to at all times keep a spotlight,” he concluded.

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