India held on to their early lead to beat a higher-ranked Qatar in an international football friendly at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha on Sunday night.
It was a different script at the same stadium, which looks similar to the Old Trafford, where 29 days go the under-23 India team failed to take advantage of their early lead and lost the away leg of the pre-Olympic qualifier against Qatar, 2006 Asian Games champions.
But on Sunday, the senior India team consolidated on their early lead to beat Qatar 2-1 in the friendly, which is a preparation match for India's first round World Cup qualifiers against the UAE.
Sunil Chhetri put India in the lead in the 16th minute when he converted from the spot. The penalty was awarded after Debabrata Roy was pulled down in the box.
Sushil Singh doubled the lead in the 73rd minute. Baljit paved it for Sushil off a Khabra cross for him to bulge the net. Ibrahim Khalfan reduced the margin for Qatar a minute later.
India take on the UAE in the first-leg of the World Cup qualifiers on July 23, Qatar also face Vietnam at home on the same day. India will host the UAE on July 28 in New Delhi for the home leg.
Pak Hockey team to visit india
Karachi: Pakistan's hockey federation said on Monday it would take part in a four-nation event in India, if the government clears it to do so, in the latest move to normalise sporting ties between the arch-rivals.
"We have confirmed participation in the four-nation hockey event in India and have applied for government clearance which we hope will come," Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa said.
The event, which runs in two legs in Chandigarh and Jalandhar, will be played from September 19-26.
Bhullar hopes to strike form
Shah Alam, Malaysia: The first half of the season has not been great for Gaganjeet Bhullar but with an improved game, the young Indian golfer is confident of striking form at the Worldwide Holdings Selangor Masters starting on Wednesday.
Bhullar a two-time Asian Tour winner, plans to emulate countrymen Jyoti Randhawa and Arjun Atwal by winning at the highly-rated Kota Permai Golf and Country Club.
BFI name 12-member women squad
New Delhi: Basketball Federation of India (BFI) on Monday named 12-member squad for the 33rd William Jones International Basketball tournament to be held in Chinese Taipei from July 31. The squad has Geethu Anna Josea and newly appointed coach Pete Gaudet.