India at 2022 World Cup: Dubai results against UAE and Oman won’t have any impact on qualifiers

Indian football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu said on Sunday that the results of the international friendlies in Dubai in March will not have an impact on the team’s campaign in the World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Qualifiers, scheduled from June 3 onwards.

Following their return to action after a long COVID-19 break, India were held to a 1-1 draw by Oman before being thrashed 0-6 by the UAE in the friendlies.

“The less we think about it, the better. It’s past. But it’s significant to remember what happened as it drives us to understand the part we need to work upon. We have three clean slates in front of us. It’s up to us as to what we need to write upon them,” said Sandhu, referring to the three upcoming games against Qatar (June 3), Bangladesh (June 7) and Afghanistan (June 15) in Doha.

Defender Pritam Kotal said the “perspectives” are entirely different from one another.

“The perspective of Dubai and Doha are entirely different. In Dubai, we played two different teams in the two matches. That was our return to international football after almost 16 months. The two matches enabled us to slap all the negatives. June will surely be better,” said Kotal, ahead of the team’s training session at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Sunday.

India striker Manvir Singh said the “mixed bag in Dubai” will help the team in its Doha campaign.

“Friendly matches always present a chance to set an aim to improve yourself. Dubai was different, Doha will be entirely different. But yeah, Dubai helped us a lot in many aspects. In that sense, the mixed bag in Dubai has been extremely helpful,” he said.

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