Qatar were held to a 0-0 home draw by India in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifier at the Jassim bin Hamad Stadium on Wednesday.
Qatar dominated the game but couldn’t score, with Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu the star of the game. Qatar had 27 shots against India’s two.
Croatian manager Igor Stimac will be pleased how India’s defense weathered Qatar’s attacking pressure, having conceded two goals in eight minutes in their previous fixture against Oman.
The Indian team celebrated the draw like a victory, performing a Viking clap – the celebration popularized by Iceland at the 2018 World Cup - with their fans after the whistle was blown.
This was India’s first point in Group E, which is currently topped by Qatar, who beat Afghanistan 6-0 in their first fixture. Bangladesh and Oman make up the two remaining teams in the group.
India are currently ranked 103rd according to FIFA rankings and have never participated in a FIFA World Cup before.
Qatar have already automatically qualified for the 2022 tournament as the host nation.
The tournament has been plagued by controversy over alleged corruption, inadequate legal protections for workers building stadiums, proposed changes to the European football calendar to accommodate for the temperature in Qatar, and the environmental impact of using air-conditioned stadiums.