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Felix Sanchez: India goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu denied us the three points

20:57 BST 10/09/2019
Felix Sanchez Bas Qatar
The Spaniard feels that India's Gurpreet Singh Sandhu was the difference maker in the match...

A gritty India held Qatar to a goalless draw in their 2022 Word Cup qualifier at Doha and the home team coach Felix Sanchez did not mince words to show his displeasure.

He particularly singled out India custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's heroic performance while bemoaning the chances that were spurned by his team.

"We played a tough game as we expected. We created many chances and went into goal scoring positions on many occasions but today it was not our day. We were not accurate enough. Therefore we did not get the three points. We are disappointed. We have players who have the quality to score but they were not accurate enough today. Kudos to the Indian national team and the goalkeeper who did not allow us to get the three points. But this is a long journey and we will keep trying to win games if we are to qualify for the next round. 

"We are not happy about the result. We had more than 25 chances but we were still not able to score. We need to keep trying. This was not our best day but this result will definitely help us grow. We are going to try harder and get more points to qualify for the next round," expressed the Spanish tactician. 

Sanchez was without the services of Akram Afif on the left flank as the winger was ruled out due to an injury. But the coach refused to accept that his absence was the cause behind the draw and instead praised skipper Hassan Al Haydos for his efforts in the wide area. 

"Akram (Afif) is a very important player and today I think Hassan (Al Haydos) played well today in his position. With him (Akram Afif), we score a lot and I am sure he is going to help us in the next matches. He was not ready for the game and these are some decisions that you have to take.  I think this group (of players) is very strong and we are capable of playing well with any player unavailable. We were positive today but this is football and sometimes these things happen.

"I don't have any problem with Akram Afif. He is an important player in our squad. I don't have any problem with Akram or any player in the squad."

The 43-year old manager believes that there are no easy games and he knew that India would be a tough nut to crack. 

"Nobody expected Qatar to win the Asian Cup but we still made it. It was well deserved. Saudi drew Yemen today. So, of course, the sides are more prepared. There are no easy games anymore. In our first game, we had a great result because we performed at a very high level. In India, we did not expect a weak team.

"They played in the last Asian Cup and they got some results. And they were very close to beating Oman in the previous match. So we knew that it would not be an easy game," he signed off.