Ahead of the Group E World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh, Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has said that he expected team India to win against Qatar in the historic goalless draw last month. Bangladesh is heading into the game on the back of a 0-2 loss at home to Qatar on October 10.
The current Indian national football team has been dubbed as the ‘New India’ and rightly so. They show intent going forward and are hard to break down at the back, emerging as a side difficult to play against. An integral part of the Indian defence is their keeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. According to Sandhu, he was expecting India to muster up a victory against the Asian champions Qatar and his 11 saves in the remarkable draw last month was not a dream performance but just his job.
“I expected to win (against Qatar). I don’t think it’s a dream show. It was my job. I played more difficult games but that never came into light maybe because we lost those games,” Gurpreet, who captained the side against Qatar in the absence of Sunil Chhetri, told PTI.
“It’s not that it’s a game that we never played before. It was just that against good opposition. It’s time to move on and replicate that in the future,” he added.
Sandhu hoped the confidence gained from the Qatar game will help the youngsters to put up a good show against a team like Bangladesh, which is ranked 83 places below India.
“It helped a lot of young players to get self-confidence. A lot of players got the chance after a long break be it Mandar Rao Desai, Nikhil Poojary, Manvir Singh. All of them played after a long time and that too against a team like Qatar. We truly believe in them and hopefully, they can provide us in games like Bangladesh.”
Bangladesh head into the game on the back of a 0-2 loss at home to Qatar. But Sandhu does not feel that is reason enough to take Bangladesh lightly, he wants the players to “play as a team and try to get a result.”