Huadu Stadium, Guangzhou

India slumped to a disappointing loss against Kuwait in the first match. Contrary to expectations, the young team performed well, earning praise from the Kuwaiti coach himself.

India lost 2-0 but the match was not as one-sided as the scoreline suggests. Kuwait scored an early goal thanks to a mistake in the Indian defence. Undeterred by the goal, however, the young Indians kept making inroads into the opponent’s defence. The central midfield pairing of Jibon and Jewel played exceptionally well while Abranches and Manish exploited the open spaces on the flank.

All of India’s endeavours didn’t produce any end result as strikers squandered chance after chance. The best chance of match fell to Jeje Lalpekhlua. Jeje couldn’t repeat his SAFF Cup heroics as he missed a one-on-one with the ‘keeper. India enjoyed majority of the possession but couldn’t make it count.

Coach Sukhwinder was left to rue the missed chances in the end – “We could have avoided the defeat. The boys played well and I am pretty satisfied with their performance”. “Sukhi”s job doesn’t get any easier, though.

Bruno Metsu, Head coach of Qatar national team watches his players before the Asian qualifiers of FIFA World Cup against Japan national team at the International stadium Yokohama, Japan, on June 10, 2009. (UPI photo/Keizo Mori) Photo via Newscom

Bruno Metsu, miracle worker with Senegal

India’s next opponent ar defending champions Qatar. Qatar captured gold in Doha Asiad by defeating Iraq in the final. The West Asians are coached by an eccentric Frenchman – Bruno Metsu. Metsu is most famous for coaching Senegal’s memorable side from the 2002 World Cup. Under him, the African minnows upset France and Sweden before getting knocked out in the quarter-final. His Qatar team was held to a somewhat surprising 0-0 draw by Singapore in the opening game.

The Qatari FA has been trigger happy with coaches in recent times. Another slip-up against India may bring down the curtains on his coaching stint.

India’s tryst with Qatar isn’t a happy one. The last time India faced Qatar, the match ended in a 6-0 thumping for the Western Asians. It was a qualifier for 1998 World Cup. Sukhwinder would dearly love to avoid a similar scoreline this time. India’s defence was shaky throughout the match against Kuwait. This will give Sukhi headaches; centre-back Rowilson Rodriguez suffered thigh strain in last match. There is a chance that he might not feature in this game.

Football Fans Know Better

India is likely to retain the 4-4-2 formation that was used in last match. Despite the loss in the first game, all is not lost. India can still reach the next round even if they lose to Qatar. There is a provision for  four best third-placed teams to qualify from the group stage. If he fails to win, Sukhi would look to keep the number of goals conceded to a minimum. That way, India can go for it all against Singapore in the final group game.

Possible starting XI

India (4-4-2): Kattimani; Lalthalma, Rowilson, Ravanan, Denzil; Abranches, Jibon, Jewel, Manish; Balwant, Jeje

India in Asian Games Related Reads

India vs Kuwait

Team Profile for Asiad 2010

India’s past performances in Asian Games

81 Responses to “Asian Games 2010 – Preview: India vs Qatar”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Soccerfan says:

    You guys not doing the live commentry for the match? Atleast tell us the score pls…

  2. arun says:

    india 1-0 qatar ,now 65 minute ,goal by d.ravanan

  3. arun says:

    now 72 minute

  4. tom says:

    lead by one goal

  5. tom says:

    78 min
    india lead by one goal

  6. arun says:

    78 minute 1-0 leading

  7. arun says:

    1-1 84 minute

  8. tom says:

    india 1-2 qatar 90′

  9. Soccerfan says:

    Thanks for the updates guys. Sadly we lost the match. Too bad defending, conceding 2 goals in last 10 minutes. :(

  10. Sujit says:

    Heart Breaking Loss in the last 10min of the game.
    We deserved a win atleast.:(:(
    Hope the GK is doing good after the collision with the Qatari player.

  11. Somnath says:

    Read the match report in a bengali paper today. Done by a reporter who was present in the match. According to him it was the defence who played really well yesterday. Ravanan was the MOM, 3 clearances off the goal line. Indian strikers again failed to grab the chances, both Balwant & Jeje missed one on one with GK. The reporter also criticised India’s over reliance on long ball game and inability to slow down the pace when it was needed.