Indian men’s football team goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu promised that he and the team will come back stronger after the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Gurpreet, who captained the side, said that the loss was a ‘massive learning experience’ for the Indian team and they will be ready for the FIFA World Cup cum Asian Cup qualifiers come June.
“It was a real tough test for us, I know the feeling is the same to get back out there and do well for the country. Matches like these are a massive learning experience for all of us. I am sure and I promise we will bounce back from this and be ready for the qualifiers in June,” he wrote on Twitter.
Ali Mabkhout scored a hat-trick as UAE, ranked 74 on the FIFA rankings, thrashed India 6-0 in their second international friendly.
Ali Mabkhout scored in the 12th, 32nd (penalty), and in the 60th minutes while Khalil Ibrahim netted in the 64th, Fabio De Lima in the 71st and Sebastian Tagliabue in the 81st minute to complete the rout.
The Indian football team had drawn their previous international friendly 1-1 against Oman.
Even though India are out of the reckoning for a 2022 World Cup berth but are still in contention for qualification in the 2023 Asian Cup.
India will next take on Qatar on 3 June, followed by Bangladesh on 7th and Afghanistan on 15. India are currently fourth in Group E with three points from five games. Qatar top the table with 13 points with Oman a point behind them in second.
A third-place finish in the group will help India get a direct berth in the third round of the qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup.
(With inputs from Agencies)