Yes, India may not have won last night and that hurts. But as cliché as it may sound, victories aren't always the reason why we follow a sport.
We follow because it brings us joy, something we have recently started associating with Indian football.
Who said no one cares about football in India? Look at this and enjoy the goosebumps! Kudos to everyone, each and bloody everyone! @BluePilgrims @EBRPFC #MeccaCholoBondhu #INDBAN #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/ffY3w85Od6— Subhayan Chakraborty (@SubhayanTweets) October 15, 2019
It really wasn't the case always. In fact, things got to a point where Sunil Chhetri had to urge the nation to come and watch their team giving its best.
The captain can take a lot of pride today because within a year, this is how the scenes are.
Once, Sunil Chettri begged INDIANS to come out & watch football.— Meghal Acharya (@MeghalAcharya2) October 15, 2019
But, today all tickets are sold out in Kolkata.
Feeling proud for INDIAN FOOTBALL.
Let's support team to win this WCQ. #MeccaCholoBondhu#inquilabeindianfootball@BluePilgrims
Playing their third qualifier for the FIFA World Cup, India was competing against Bangladesh. Honestly, it was a game that we should have won.
After that amazing first half against Oman. After that draw against Qatar.
Thank You Yuva Bharati Krirangan! You gave it your all! It was a special night when it comes to atmosphere. The result was not the best but the support behind the #BlueTigers was immense. #MeccaCholoBondhu #INDBAN #IndianFootball pic.twitter.com/2FGmY2OWGX— Subhayan Chakraborty (@SubhayanTweets) October 15, 2019
Not a result we wanted. disappointing result today for blue tigers but the support today is unbelievable.— Rajas Pitale (@pitale_rajas) October 15, 2019
THE ROAD IS VERY LONG BUT BELIEF IS EVERYTHING.🇮🇳#BlueTigers #IndianFootball #IndvsBan pic.twitter.com/P2u77NnAaC
It was not supposed to be last night, though, but the way people from Kolkata poured in to support the team is heartwarming.
It is also a lesson in acceptance of whatever might come the team's way. The fans fought with the police to take the banners inside, they made #MeccaCholoBondhu trending on Twitter and they were waving the Indian flag on the streets.
Basically, they did everything to make it look like a 'home match'.
Even though we weren't able to carry all the banners we painted inside the stadium ( no thanks to cops ), one of the things we somehow managed to take it in was this. 🇮🇳🙏💓 #INDBAN #MeccaCholoBondhu pic.twitter.com/GwgKSdUgJv— Blue Pilgrims (@BluePilgrims) October 15, 2019
A victory would have boosted our chances of qualification but a defeat would have done even more damage.
The late goal from Adil Khan saved us from drowning and the crowd made sure he was rewarded with chants.