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. 

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. 

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. 

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’.

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.

So, in the end, we can’t say it was our best performance but we can say the boys played well.

The star of yesterday’s match was the crowd, though, and that leaves us with a big reason to be happy.