With the FIFA World Cup Qualifier in progress, India has made remarkable improvement in the past few years to have a discreet chance at qualifying for FIFA World Cup 2022. Under the captaincy of Sunil Chettri with the experienced coaching from Igor Stimac, Indian players seemed more confident and that too vividly reflected in their 1st qualifier match against Oman, though the next game did not go as planned against Bangladesh.
In the first game where, India registered a tough fight and an equally competent comeback but in the end, succumbed to a more efficient Oman with 1 goal shortage. The 2nd match against Qatar saw ‘India’s wall’, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu clamoring all of Qatar’s accurate chances to score a single leading goal. With the first draw and registering 1 point from the game against a more advanced Qatar was everything India could have hoped for.
However, the match which had almost expected points for the home team, India failed to create a concrete impact resulting in a draw of 1-1 to Bangladesh. The more interesting fact about the drawn match was, the appreciation and attention it garnered from the Indian audiences stationed at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.
The match received raving support in Kolkata enough to be named the ‘Mecca of Indian Football’ by none other than the Croatian hope for India, Stimac. With the tumultuous support that Chetrri and his men received at Kolkata despite a gloomy show, the FIFA fever in Kolkata might not be over, with speculations of the Qatar tie to be played in Kolkata in next year’s March.
Apart from ‘The City of Joy’, Kerala and Bhubaneswar are also lining up behind to host the game. The parent body of sports in West Bengal, Indian Football Association (IFA), is in talk with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) to host the tie-breaker in Salt Lake stadium, for another historic game. So far, India’s campaign has earned them 2 points, and 4th place in the Group-E leg of the FIFA Qualifier Points Table consisting of 5 countries.