NEW DELHI: India are unlikely to make it to their first World Cup finals this time around but a 0-0 draw in Doha against Asian champions Qatar in 2022 qualifying on Tuesday has filled them with pride.
Cricket is king in India with football a distant second in the list of the country’s favourite sports, though most fans rarely pay attention to Indian soccer, instead preferring to watch the English Premier League or German Bundesliga.
Igor Stimac’s team, ranked 103rd in the world, have given a good account of themselves in their first two matches in Group ‘E’. They led Oman 1-0 in their opener last week but conceded two goals in the last eight minutes to go down 2-1 at home.
Few gave the side any chance of coming away with anything but a defeat to 2022 hosts Qatar, a team ranked 41 places higher than India, but stout defending and some superb goalkeeping from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu helped them earn a point.