India beat Qatar and Creates History

Qatar 1-2 India
India: Sunil Chhetri(P,16'), Sushil Kumar Singh(73')
Qatar:  Ibrahim Khalfan(74')

Coach Armando Colaco handed India its first win under him and Who could have guessed it would have come in this fashion and against such a strong opposition. India managed to create history as they defeated the 94th ranked nation Qatar in an away match played at the Al-Sadd Stadium on Sunday, 17th July.

Both side fielded new faces as they were preparing for their respective upcoming matches in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers. India started the proceedings brightly as they had much of the possession. India went on to take the early lead as Defender Debabrata Roy was brought down in the Qatar Box by their Captain Bilal Mohamed in the 16th minute, and Sunil Chhetri had no problems to convert from the spot. The home team struggled to make any impact on the game as Indian team played the ball along the ground, exchanging short passes. India went on to stay with the one goal lead at the half time break.

Sunil Chhetri scored again
through a penalty
The second half saw both managers changing few players, with Armando Colaco changing his entire team except for Goalkeeper and Captain Subrata Paul. India thereafter relied more on counter attacks, as Qatar were looking to grab the decisive equalizer which never actually came. The Qatari forwards were kept at bay by the Indian defence. Against the run of play, India managed to double its lead on the 73rd minute thanks to a well placed finish by Sushil Kumar Singh who came in the second half. Sushil placed the ball past Qatari Custodian Saad Abdulla al Sheeb after receiving a cross from Baljit Singh Sahini. India's two goal lead was cut down to one in the very next minute, by  Ibrahim Khalfan after he was assisted by Sebastian Soria. India managed to hold on to the one goal lead and hence, defeated Qatar 2-1.

Both the Coach and the Captain were very pleased with the victory, but they also pointed out that the main challenge is still knocking at the doors, the World Cup Qualifiers against UAE. The expectations will surely rise after this emphatic win which was unexpected to say the least.

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