Akram Hassan scored from the spot in the 60th minute Friday after the hosts enjoyed a good spell of 15 minutes at the beginning of the second spell where they won four corners in quick succession. Substitute Abdullah doubled the lead in the 89th minute.
"I am disappointed with the result but not the performance. The first 15 minutes in the second half turned the game on its head. I should congratulate the Qatari coach for changing tactics at the right time and playing more direct. That worked for them," head coach Colm Toal said.
Qatar played direct football post the breather sending the ball crossfield at every opportunity. One such occasion saw Akram being tripped by Vishal Kaith inside the area after the former tried to round the India goalkeeper at the hour mark. Later, Akram rattled the crosspiece with a long-ranger.
If the second half belonged to Qatar, the first half was India's.
The hosts enjoyed possession in the opening exchanges but failed to make early inroads as India closed them down diligently.
The visitors slowly picked up pace, winning three corners in as many minutes. Germanpreet Singh impressed on both flanks teeing up Kumam Udanta Singh on the right in the 23rd minute before switching flanks to send a cross for Daniel Lalhlimpuia to skew wide.
Further up, Udanta's cutback effort from the right in the 27th minute was somehow tipped over by goalkeeper Yousuf Hassan Mohammed Ali.
India's four flag kicks to Qatar's none reflected their dominance in the first essay. Just at the stroke of halftime, Shaiborlang Kharpan shot inches wide.
Qatar started the second half like the first. Midfielder Nasser Ibrahim side netted twice as they equalled their counterparts on the number of corners won. The Indian backline to their credit stood firm.
But the hosts' doggedness in the final third paid off in the 60th when Akram Hassan converted from the spot.
India reacted quickly trying to catch Qatar on the counter. Colm Toal ringed in the changes in search of an equaliser. S.K. Faiaz came in place of Kharpan and Alen Deory replaced Daniel in the 59th and 65th minute, respectively.
Uttam Rai was introduced in the 83rd minute replacing Germanpreet. But it was not India's day as Abdullah doubled the lead at the death to take the game away.
India next play Nepal Sunday.
Result: Qatar 2 (Akram Hassan, Abdullah) beat India 0.
--IANS (Posted on 05-10-2013)