Asian football champions Qatar were held by India to a 0-0 score in Doha on Tuesday. The Indian team’s ability to restrict the Qatar goalmachine was due to the heroics of goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, who was the officiating captain in the absence of star Sunil Chhetri. India lost to Oman in Guwahati on September 5 in the second round of Group E. On October 15, Bangladesh will face India in the next match in Group E, which also includes Afghanistan.

Tuesday’s draw saw Gurpreet Singh Sandhu blunt at least 14 attempts by the Qataris. The Indian team was under immense pressure due to captain Sunil Chhetri’s absence due to a fever. But Sandhu, the stand-in captain, kept his end of the bargain.

In its earlier match, Qatar scored 6 goals against Afghanistan at the same venue and were pretty confident on the field against India but Sandhu had other ideas. Qatari coach Felix Sanchez said Sandhu made the big difference in the game.

Indian players Sandesh Jhingan and Adil Khan constituted a strong defensive pairing at the centre and made it difficult for the Qatar forwards. Mandar Rao Desai, Rahul Bheke along with Anirudh Thapa and Abdul Sahal helped the team in its defence.  Here is how tweeple reacted on the results:

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