India coach Igor Stimac rues controversial Qatar goal: Shouldn't happen in today's game

Igor Stimac claimed that things like the controversial Qatar equaliser shouldn't be happening in today's game after India were knocked out of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers after the 2-1 loss in Doha on June 11.
India coach Igor Stimac rues controversial Qatar goal: Shouldn't happen in today's game
Jaano Junction

India coach Igor Stimac deemed Qatar's controversial equaliser in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier round 2 match as an injustice to his side as they were eliminated on June 11, Tuesday. India had taken the lead in the 37th minute of the game through Lallianzuala Chhangte, but things changed for Stimac's side in the second half. Qatar equalised in the 73rd minute from a Yousef Aymen strike. However, the ball which ultimately led to Aymen's goal had gone beyond the line before being rolled into the net, much to the frustration of India goalkeeper and skipper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

Qatar would then win the match in the 85th minute as India exited after Kuwait's win against Afghanistan. The referee was slammed by the fans for the call and now Stimac has revealed his feelings about the call. Speaking at the post-match press conference, Stimac said Qatar were lucky to win on the night as they came back thanks to an irregular goal. The Croat said that such incidents shouldn't be happening in the sport at this day and age.

Stimac said he felt sad for his players as their dream was killed due to an error in judgement.

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India coach Igor Stimac rues controversial Qatar goal: Shouldn't happen in today's game

"Qatar were lucky tonight, especially because they came back from 0-1 with an irregular goal. I can confirm that now because I have seen the replay. The whole ball was out of play and the goal was given. It shouldn't be happening in today's football because that goal changed everything in this game. It could've happened to Qatar today and I would say the same. I'm not looking for an excuse. I feel sad that when you have 23 boys working really hard and living the dream, to achieve something, and that dream is killed because we didn't stop such things from happening," said Stimac.

"It's kind of an injustice to my boys tonight because we were very close to winning this game and qualifying for the third round, but it didn't happen. Congratulations to Qatar. I would say that both countries can be proud of their future because all the players showed enormous quality today. They played open football and it was obvious that both teams enjoyed the game. Many people will say that Qatar played with their reserve team. But our team is also not too old compared to Qatar," added Stimac.

Stimac was proud of the performance of India and said he had nothing to complain about them.

"I would say that there is nothing to complain about my boys' display today. They were fantastic. All Indian fans can be proud of their team today. We controlled the game for a major part, with a high press against a good Qatari team. You could say that the chances India had were better than Qatar's," said Stimac.

The India coach, however, said his team needed to be more clinical in front of the goal. 

Source: India Today

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