India crash out of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualification race after Qatar inflict 2-1 defeat

Public TV English
4 Min Read

DOHA (Qatar): India’s run in the qualification for FIFA World Cup 2026 ended on a controversial note after Qatar clinched a 2-1 win in the World Cup Qualifier Second Round Group A clash at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday.

India led the game till the 72nd minute of the game but Qatar levelled the game following a controversial equaliser. Yousef Aymen found the back of the net after the ball had gone out of play. They scored another goal in the final minutes of the game to clinch a 2-1 victory and end Igor Stimac’s side run in the Qualification race.

Qatar made early inroads into India’s defensive box, but Rahul Bheke anticipated the threat and cleared the ball for a corner. India avoided a scare after the corner kick was delivered towards the near post. Mohialdin flicked the ball but captain Gurpreet was there to make the save.

Seven minutes flew by and India were yet to penetrate Qatar’s defensive box. They struggled to maintain possession, especially in the midfield area.
Qatar’s golden opportunity to break the stalemate came in the 12th minute after Gouda made an excellent touch on the right flank and brushed away Jay Gupta. He made his way inside the box and pulled off a cutback pass.

Alrawi took a first-time shot but Mehtab Singh put his body on the line to make a scintillating goal-saving block.

The Blue Tigers struggled for possession while Qatar continued to play through the Indian set-up. Suresh Singh Wangjam had the opportunity to put India in front against the run of play but he was deemed offside.

Manvir had a one-on-one with Ellethy, he went for the low shot but the Qatar keeper stood tall to keep the scoreline 0-0. The rebound fell to Chhangte but he was denied after a sensational tackle.

Five minutes later, India’s goal drought ended after Brandon found Chhangte at the edge of the box. Lallianzuala Chhangte made no mistake and slotted the ball into the back of the net.

Qatar looked for an immediate response with a shot from a distance but Gurpreet palmed the ball to safety. The first half ended with India in the front with a goal lead.

The second half began with India being a bit complacent on the field. They lost the ball a couple of times early in the half allowing Qatar an opportunity to level the game.

With almost 20 minutes to go, India sat back and looked to defend their lead rather than extending it.

Qatar levelled the game, following a controversial goal. Yousef Aymen struck the back of the net. The Indian players thought that the ball had gone out of play after Gurpreet saved a header from Aymen.

The whistle never came from the referee, and Indian players started to protest. In the absence of the Video Assistant Referee, the referee consulted with the assistant referee. The goal was given but the replay clearly showed that the ball had gone out of play.

India’s night turned from bad to worse after Qatar took the lead in the 85th minute with Alrawi slotting the ball past Gurpreet.

Qatar held onto their lead and ended India’s hopes of making it into the third round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier. (ANI)

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