Qatar vs India: Another crucial do or die encounter for India

Blue tigers of India faces critical match against Qatar in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

CLINTON D'SOUZA | JUNE 11, 2024, 10:57 AM IST
Qatar vs India: Another crucial do or die encounter for India

Panaji: The Indian football team is set to face Qatar on June 11th in their final fixture of the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. This match is crucial for the Blue Tigers as they have yet to secure a spot in the third round.

India needs a win to confirm their qualification. Any other result will leave their hopes dependent on the outcome of the game between Kuwait and Afghanistan. With so much at stake, the match against Qatar is decisive, with the Indian team aiming to make history by advancing to the third round.

India's journey in the second round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers has been challenging. After a disappointing draw in Sunil Chhetri’s final game, the team is desperate for a win to keep their dreams alive.

Despite facing a Qatar team missing many of their stars from their AFC Asian Cup success, the match will still be a tough challenge for Igor Stimac’s men. The Indian team will need to deliver a top-tier performance to overcome one of Asia's strongest teams and secure their place in the next round of qualifiers. Here’s a detailed preview and analysis of the match:

How can India still qualify for Round 3 of FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers?

 India Beats Qatar

- India wins, India progresses: If India manages to defeat Qatar, they will secure their place in the third round. 

- Tough task: This is easier said than done, as Qatar are the defending champions of the AFC Asian Cup 2023 and currently lead Group A. A win against them would be a monumental achievement for Indian football.

- Additional help: If Afghanistan loses or draws against Kuwait, or wins with a goal difference of less than seven, India will still progress to the third round.

India draws with Qatar

- Draw scenario: If India draws with Qatar and Afghanistan also draws with Kuwait, India’s qualification will depend on goal difference.

- Goal difference advantage: In this case, India is likely to progress as they currently have a better goal difference compared to Afghanistan.

What Advancing Means for India

- Top 18 in Asia: Reaching the third round would place India among Asia’s top 18 nations, competing in three groups of six teams.

- More games: This means 10 more games – five at home and five away – providing valuable experience for the team.

- AFC Asian Cup 2027: Finishing second in their group also ensures direct qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2027 in Saudi Arabia. Otherwise, India will need to go through additional qualifiers.

With current standings and challenges

- Qatar’s strength: Qatar has already qualified for the third round and has a strong team, making India’s task difficult.

- India’s form: The Blue Tigers have struggled in the second round, with disappointing results, including a draw in Sunil Chhetri’s final match against Kuwait.

Key battles and players to watch out for: 

Rahul Bheke (IND):

- Rahul Bheke, India’s defender, will need to be vigilant and solid to stop Al Rawi from making an impact.

Nikhil Poojary (IND):

- Nikhil Poojary has had a challenging season, and he faces a tough test against Homan Ahmed, who has been impressive for Qatar.

- Poojary needs to bring his A-game to contain Homan’s speed and dribbling skills.

Vikram Partap Singh (IND) vs. Yousuf Marel (QAR):

- With Sunil Chhetri retired, Vikram Partap Singh is expected to lead India’s attack.

Lallianzuala Chhangte (IND)

- Chhangte needs to step up after an underwhelming performance against Kuwait. His role will be crucial in breaking down Qatar’s defense.

- He must improve his finishing, movement, and link-up play to create and capitalize on goal-scoring opportunities.

TheGoan, would predicted the Lineup for QATAR VS INDIA

India (4-2-3-1)

- GK: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

- Defenders: Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke, Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta

- Midfielders: Jeakson Singh, Suresh Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco

- Forward: Vikram Partap Singh

Qatar (3-4-3)

- GK: Saad Al Sheeb

- Defenders: Abdalla Yousif, Mohammed Aiash, Yousef Marel

- Midfielders: Tahsin Jamshed, Moustafa Tarek, Abdullah Al-Ahrak, Hazem Shehata

- Forwards: Abdulla Alyazidi, Yousuf Abdurisag, Ahmed Al-Rawi


- Games Played: 4

- India Wins: 0

- Qatar Wins: 3

- Draws: 1

India’s match against Qatar is a defining moment in their quest for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. A victory would not only keep their dream alive but also secure their place in the third round and potentially direct qualification for the AFC Asian Cup 2027. The Blue Tigers must deliver a top-tier performance to overcome one of Asia’s best teams and make history. Either way, the stakes are high, and the upcoming match is crucial for India's World Cup qualifying campaign.

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