India held Qatar despite missing players like Ashique Kuruniyan, Sunil Chhetri and Subhasish Bose.

The Indian national team held AFC Asian Cup champions and Group E favourites Qatar in their own den, as Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Co. blocked everything that was thrown towards them by the home team.

Gurpreet, captaining the side in the absence of Sunil Chhetri due to an injury, particularly did well to get his side a point against all the odds. The Blue Tigers, after having been left shell-shocked by conceding twice in the final eight minutes of the game against Oman in Guwahati, sorted out their defensive issues to keep a clean-sheet.

The Indian fans were surprised by the resilience and grit shown by their team in difficult conditions.

Delighted with the result, one as big as it could have been, Indian fans, players and the team’s coaching staff took to Twitter to express their joy.

Below are some of the reactions from Twitter:

Igor Stimac was perhaps the first one to celebrate the ‘victory’ and congratulate his team for what they did in the game.

Not just the current manager, but also the former English head coach of the Indian national team, Stephen Constantine congratulated the side for their performance.

Regular captain Sunil Chhetri was missed in attack, as the 35-year-old was left out of the starting XI due to illness. But, the captain did celebrate the point, as if it was a victory by writing some proud words for his team and the staff.

Meanwhile, Khel Now’s Kolkata correspondent Uttiyo Sarkar thought that it was the best performance of the team under the new Croatian manager.

A fan acknowledged the work-ethic of the entire team through a funny comment.

And another pointed out the effort of the defence after Qatar failed to score despite many clear chances.

An Indian football fan wondered if it was the best result for India in any World Cup Qualifier, in terms of the difference between the rankings of the two teams.

He was however educated by one of the Twitterati about India’s 1-0 win against the UAE.

Another fan asked for more such performances from the national team and also congratulated Gurpreet for his classy showing.

Manvir Singh was an unsung hero, as the forward worked tirelessly and dropped deep into the defensive half to bail the team out of tricky situations. He also held the ball well against physically mightier opponents. A fan, however, did point out his performance and wished to see him play regular football this season.

Xavi was in the stadium to support the Qataris and the former Barcelona midfielder couldn’t escape the trolls for his prediction of the Indian team finishing last in their group in the AFC Asian Cup.

It wasn’t all celebrations as some fans demanded more from the team, both defensively and offensively.

Another fan, however, acknowledged the importance of defending well when reduced in quality upfront.

India’s oldest football club Mohun Bagan also congratulated the team for their first point in the World Cup Qualifiers.

One from the team itself. A video of the Viking Claps from the Blue Tigers in Qatar!

Although, in very small numbers, India did get the warmth of the KBFC Manjapadda fans in the stadium, as they made it a point to support the team in Qatar.




Achyuta Samanta, the member of Parliament congratulated the  Indian National football team.

Rutvij Joshi, the Khel Now correspondent from Ahmedabad feels this game was by far the best performance in last decade.

An Indian football fan who couldn’t hide his excitement tweeted


Krunal Pandya, the Indian International cricketer was pleased by the result lastnight tweeted


A strange observation by one Indian football fan

  A #MUFC hopeful taunted Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as replacement of  David De Gea

  Sajjan Jindal, the CEO of JSW group which owns Indian Super League side Bengaluru also praised Indian custodian

Some praise for Adil Khan as well