Indian Football cemented a new place in it’s budding history after holding off the Asian champions Qatar in Doha for what turned out to be a nail-biter of a World Cup qualifier.
Igor Stimac , the recently appointed Indian Team coach has been implementing quite a positive brand of football within the squad. Although fitness has been an area where the Croatian has been questioned previously, the draw against Qatar was testament to how rapidly the squad is growing and improving in their ability.
“Our performance against Qatar is an invitation to fans for our next home game. We have heard a lot about the passion for football in Kolkata. I want to see a full house at the YBK Stadium for our match against Bangladesh,” Stimac told IANS.
“You need to be our 12th player. We deserve that and I expect them to come and help us get the three points,” said the Croatian.
“Against Qatar, we proved to everyone who were talking about a lack of fitness among the players. Qatar are in a different league as compared to any team in Asia and my boys made sprints till the very last minute. They defended with such concentration throughout, which really proves their fitness capacity,” the 52-year old coach said.
“As a coach, I am more than happy to get a point against the Asian Champions. All credit to my players and I’m really proud of them. I would also like to congratulate Qatar as the crowd really enjoyed the match and there was good football on display.”
Sahal Abdul Samad and Udanta both had their share of chances on the counter but failed to convert. However , it was Qatar who were pulling the strings and had the lion’s share of the ball and chances, yet failing to secure the 3 points.
“Qatar had more chances than us. But we also had our own, and that make us more experienced. When we become a more experienced side, we will convert those opportunities,” Stimac added.
With a match against Bangladesh coming up in a couple of weeks time, Stimac and his men will be raring to bag the first set of 3 points at home.