India held Asian champions Qatar in a goalless draw in September 2019.

File image of Igor Stimac.

Doha: Indian soccer coach Igor Stimac said on Wednesday that keeping Qatar in a goalless draw in the first leg of the 2022 World Cup qualifying would be a “big surprise” and that it would be extremely difficult to tame the Asian champions again on Thursday .

India defeated mighty Qatar 0-0 in September 2019, a result that was considered one of the best for the team of recent times. The men from Stimac will face the same opponents in the second leg of the joint World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers here on Thursday.

“We are very proud of what we achieved in the last game. It was a big surprise for everyone the whole world that India held against Asian champions Qatar in Doha, “said Stimac in the press conference before the game.

” But that was a different situation. From the minute we arrived, thousands of our fans gave us this extra one Energy that made us feel at home. “

India has its home game here as the Qatari capital has been selected as the central location for all remaining Group E games after qualifying last year due to COVID-19 pandemic has been interrupted.

“But I reiterate that such a result can happen in any one of 10 games to get a point against Qatar. You are such a high quality man and the best team in Asia, “said Stimac.

” We have to work a lot harder to be consistently successful against better teams. It will be an extremely difficult game for us tomorrow. “

There was no talisman Sunil Chhteri in this 2019 game against Qatar due to a virus fever, and his return will certainly boost the confidence of the young Indian team.

” Everyone knows what it means to Indian Football. Every one of our players understands what it means to have Sunil back on the team and on the pitch, “said Stimac.

” You will go out with him with more courage. It is a great pleasure to work with him. I’ll try my best to keep him playing as long as possible. “

” He trains as if he were 25 and plays as if he were 25. He scores goals and I’m happy that he is ours Players can promote. “

After Qatar, India will meet Bangladesh on June 7th and Afghanistan on June 15th, with all three games being played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha.

India already wants to win qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup in China.

“There will be no surprises when we get to kick-off against Qatar. We focus on ourselves. We have to think about what we can do and how we have to perform. “

” In the first leg it was very tough and close. We dominated, but despite all the dominance, we couldn’t score a goal. There were certain aspects that didn’t work in our last game against India. We have worked on it and I hope to be able to implement it on the pitch, “he said.

Changed date:

June 03, 2021 8:20:27 AM IST


Indian, fourth in Group E with three points, is not fighting for a World Cup place, but is still counted for the Asian Cup in China in 2023.

In the run-up to the FIFA World Cup qualification, Indian soccer coach Igor Stimac speaks about India’s difficulties in preparing for the tournament, his team’s chances of qualifying for the 2023 Asian Cup and more.

Before their first game against hosts Qatar on June 3, the team will complete a preparation camp in a bio-bubble in Doha.

Sign up for a weekly curated briefing on key strategic matters from around the world.