The match between India and Qatar resulted in a goalless draw, however, the Indian team’s coach is more than happy with the solitary point that the Indian football team snatched. Igor Stimac said, "As a coach, I don't have time to waste in thinking too much as it was only a few days ago when we lost to Oman. Still today as a coach, of course, I am more than happy to get a point against the reigning champions of Asia,"
The coach and former Croatia player Igor Stimac, now wants the team to focus and garner more points for future matches. India qualified for the FIFA World Cup round two in a goalless match against Qatar. Talking about the team’s performance, Stimac said, "We need to improve in certain areas, on the other hand, all congratulations not just to my players but also for Qatar. There was excitement in front of both goals, of course." He also said that the match was a great experience and asked the team to stay calm as this was just one point.
Despite the absence of their regular captain and talisman Sunil Chhetri, who was down with a fever, the team managed to defend successfully against Qatar who won the Asian Cup in January. Taking into consideration Qatar’s effort Indian coach Igor Stimac said, "Qatar deserved more from this game. They created more chances today but we also had many chances."
Igor Stimac also took a dig at those who were criticising the team’s fitness levels. "You see, I cannot reply to each comment after a game because not many people are well educated about football. We are a fit team and we proved it today. People had criticised the team’s fitness after it lost to Oman with a 1-2 score. During the game, Oman's goals came in the final eight minutes of the game." He said that fitness was never a problem for the team. "We played against Qatar and we made space for ourselves even in the last minutes. We made sprints even in the 95th minute, showing a lot of concentration. So we showed good fitness," Stimac said.
India will play Bangladesh in their next World Cup qualifying match in Kolkata on October 15 and the coach expects a full house at the mecca of Indian football. Urging people to support the team, the coach said that "Our country has a population of over 1.3 billion people compared to that this was a very small crowd."I want to see 80,000 people in Kolkata against Bangladesh. We deserve that and they need to come and support us." The team thanked people for their support after the match.
(With inputs from PTI)