The previous encounter between both sides ended in a 0-0 draw.
|Indian Football Team||0-1||Qatar Football Team|
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Playing their first World Cup qualifier since 2019, India perhaps performed better than many expected them to. After going down to 10-men following Rahul Bheke’s sending off in the 18th minute, India knew it would be a rough ride and even could become a humiliation. However, Qatar did manage to get their first (and only) goal across two games against India through Abdulaziz Hatem’s clever strike after the half-hour mark. After that, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu transformed into India’s own Superman to make a flurry of excellent saves to keep the scoreline from getting embarrassing. The Blue Tigers also defended pretty well, with Sandesh Jhingan and Pritam Kotal both putting in admirable efforts – but were too poor on the other end of the field. They couldn’t get a shot on target and barely made Qatar’s defenders break their sweat, giving the ball away with sloppy passes and being unable to stitch together dangerous chances. If not anything else, Igor Stimac knows that his side has to produce better attacking football and be more clinical in the next games. They face a stubborn Bangladesh side in what is a must-win game. We’ll be back with the action from that game on Monday. Till then, this is Uttiyo Sarkar signing off for Khel Now. Thanks and Good Night, Ladies & Gentlemen1
90+3′ India fail to get the ball forward in the last moments and make it a relatively easy end to the game for Qatar. The Blue Tigers are still in 3 points in the groups and need some big results in the next two games to finish the group stages on third place.
90+2′ Ugh! Jhingan does well to recover possession inside his own box and bursts forward before attempting a pass to Manvir – but the forward can’t get to it before a Qatari defender.
90+1′ Three minutes of added time is announced. Can India snatch a point here?
89′ A smiling Abdelkarim Fadlalla – who attempted 12 shots himself – goes off late on for Homam Ahmed.
88′ Abdulsalem takes another attempt from outside the box but his attempt goes straight into Gurpreet’s arms.
86′ OFF THE BAR! Abdulsalem takes a nice effort from long way out that has Gurpreet beaten, but hits the bar and goes out before Mishra clears it away for a corner.
84′ India make a double change as Sahal Abdul Samad comes on for Ashique Kuruniyan and Liston Colaco replacing Suresh Singh! Sahal gets a huge cheer from the Kerala Blaster fans in the stands!
82′ CLOSE! That’s probably the closest Fadlalla’s long-rangers have gone! He whips in a powerful shot from outside the box that has Gurpreet scurrying – but the ball just powers over the goal.
80′ Youssef is taken off by Qatar, with Ismael Mohammed coming on in his place.
79′ Almoez Ali is booked for a cynical foul bringing down Suresh and denying India a potential goal-scoring chance.
76′ A bit of a heated exchange between Stimac and the referee! The India national team boss seems infuriated that the referee didn’t book a Qatari player for a handball even after sending Bheke off for the same. The referee makes his stance clear and warns Stimac to back off or face a similar fate.
75′ Oooh! Udanta does well to attempt a clever through ball to split open Qatar’s backline and send Manvir through – but Al Sheeb comes out of his goal in a flash to clear it before the Indian striker could even get to the ball!
74′ Another substitution from India, as Akash Mishra comes on for Bipin Singh.
73′ Despite all of Qatar’s dominance, India are still actually in this game. They just need that one moment of brilliance to potentially get something from this game!
70′ Qatar definitely aren’t discouraged from all the poor long-ranger as Abdulaziz takes another attempt from outside the box that blares over the net.
68′ India makes another substitute as Glan Martins is taken off, with Lalengmawia coming on for him.
66′ Gurpreet saves another long-ranger well. Qatar make their first substitute as Mohammed Muntari goes off for Abdullah Abdulsalem.
65′ Gurpreet again! Fadlalla easily bursts into the box again before taking a shot that is saved well by Gurpreet’s legs.
65′ Gurpreet saves again! Subhashish poorly gives the ball away inside his own half, allowing Qatar to mount a swift break which eventually finds Al-Haydos inside the box – but Sandhu reacts sharply to deny him a goal.
63′ Boudiaf attempts another long ranger to test Gurpreet but sees the shot go wide.
61′ India are doing well to cut out every cross that is sent in from Qatar, but are really struggling to retain the possession and move the ball forward. Qatar are all too happy to slow down the play a bit to keep the visitors on their toes.
59′ Ashique seems to have cramped up as he goes down on the field. However, he fights well to get back up to get play back on.
58′ Almoez bursts into life in the final third – playing a clever one-two before attempting a shot that is too weak and goes wide of the target.
55′ Gurpreet has played a major role over keeping this game to where it is now. But Qatar are not being discouraged by all these saves but are only piling forward harder to get that second goal.
52′ Brilliant reflexes from Gurpreet! Fadlla whips in a brilliant low cross to Muntari – who turns cleverly and powers a shot on goal that Gurpreet saves really well.
50′ Fadlalla tries his luck once again and takes a long-ranger with his right foot – only to send it into the stands!
47′ GURPREET SAVES! Fadlalla plays a clever one-two before getting into a free position inside the box but Gurpreet denies him with a strong save.
46′ Abdelkarim Fadlalla takes another dangerous shot from afar that wheezes slightly past Gurpreet’s goal.
46′ The second half kicks off! Qatar will be the ones attacking from the left to right now.
11:32 pm: Udanta Singh has come on before the second half, replacing Sunil Chhetri at the break. That would probably mean that Manvir Singh moves into the central role and Udanta adds a more counter-attacking threat down the right.
HALF-TIME ANALYSIS: India have been run absolutely ragged by an ruthless Qatar side in the first half! The Blue Tigers received an early set-back as Rahul Bheke was sent off after receiving 2 yellow cards in the first 18 minutes, even though the second one looked harsh. After that Qatar, put their foot on the gas and got their lead a little after the half-hour mark when Abdulaziz Hatem finished cleverly from close. Qatar have managed 21 shots in the first half, the most faced by India in a single game since Stimac took over. The hosts have been a bit sloppy with their finishing and final decision-making, but the Indian centre-backs have done well to cut out their attacks. Stimac is likely to make changes to further solidify his side and add a more goal-scoring option as India chase the game for a point. We’ll be back with second-half action soon! Stay tuned, folsk!
45+2′ BIG CHANCE! Gurpreet with a brilliant save! A fantastic lobbed through ball finds Fadlalla free inside the box but Gurpreet charges in and makes a sharp save using his legs to keep India in the game. Thrilling end to the half!
45+1′ One minute of added time is announced.
44′ CHANCE! Manvir gets some space to move into the in attack and goes past a few bodies inside the box but his final shot is blocked off. Close!
42′ Fadlalla is encouraged to go forward and makes a nice dummy to go inside the box before taking a shot which goes wide.
41′ Boudiaf fancies his luck once again as he takes a shot from a long way out that goes sailing over the net.
40′ Ashique gets some confidence after stealing the ball and tries to move diagonally into the middle through on goal before the ball is taken off him. Qatar mount a counter-attack from that but some good defending inside the box from Glan denies Muntari a goal.
38′ Udanta Singh is being readied up and is looks likely to be sent on soon.
36′ Qatar are not letting up even after taking the lead. They are still piling bodies forward and the Indian side already looks exhausted from what has been a very intense game so far.
34′ GOAL! Qatar breaks the deadlock! The hosts create a good move from the left, as Almoez finds some space inside the box and cuts it to the middle into a body of players – before Hatem manages to get a toe-poke to score past Gurpreet. 1-0!
32′ Youssef causes problems again as he easily skips past Subhashish inside the box but Jhingan makes a solid block before he can get a shot off.
30′ BIG CHANCE FOR INDIA! The Blue Tigers finally mount an attack as Ashique puts in a brilliant cross from the left but Manvir just can’t latch onto the first chance or capitalize on the slight error by Saad Al Sheeb.
29′ India avert disaster again! Qatar mounted a slick passing play through the left to the middle but a clutch clearance is made in the back by Jhingan to clear it out.
27′ The Indian players are having to work extremely hard and put in a double shift to keep Qatar from getting into prominent goal-scoring areas. Manvir Singh seems to have slotted into a makeshift defensive role to fill the hole left by Bheke.
25′ CLOSE! A great cross is sent in by Abdulaziz from a corner and finds Fadella – whose header goes wide of the target.
24′ A good passing move from Qatar sees the ball played through the middle to Muntari inside the box, but Jhingan makes a clutch clearance to deny him a goal.
22′ Karim Boudiaf takes a shot from a long way out but Jhingan does well to clear it out before it can reach the goal.
19′ Well, well. A tough task becomes a nightmare for India now. That seemed a harsh sending off – but Bheke looked very nervous from the get-go. Stimac’s side has to pull off something special to get anything from this game now.
17′ BHEKE SEES RED! He’s very unlucky to get sent off too! Bheke handled an attempted cross from Al-Haydos and even though it didn’t look intentional at all – the referee shows him a second yellow card and India are now down to 10 men!
16′ Qatar are predictably dominating the majority of the possession but are being a bit sloppy in giving the ball away. India, however, haven’t been the sharpest in their counter-attacks yet.
13′ CHANCE! Qatar’s winger Youssef easily tricks his way past Ashique from down the right and lays it off for Abdulaziz, whose shot goes just over target.
11′ Another penalty call from the Qatari players! A set-piece is whipped in and Mohammed Muntari’s fancy shot seemingly hit Glan’s arm – but the referee didn’t see it being intentional enough to point to the spot.
9′ Rahul Bheke is the first player to be booked after a nasty challenge on a Qatar player.
8′ Around 3,000 fans are in the stands for this game – including Indian fans too! Some members of the Manjapadda can be spotted in the stands and are making their voices heard!
6′ Glan has started his debut brightly and is making some clutch challenges to avert disaster. Does well to block a shot inside the box to deny Hatem a scoring opportunity.
5′ Qatar with a penalty appeal! Abdelkarim Fadella goes bursting into the box and is brought down by Sandesh Jhingan – but the referee didn’t see anything malicious in it as the ball seemed to have already gone away.
4′ Gurpreet saves! India can’t clear their lines inside their own box and give the ball away to Abdulaziz Hatem, whose low attempt is held onto by a diving Sandhu.
2′ Gurpreet Singh Sandhu tested early on in a nervy way! A cross was whipped in from the right which he seemed to have covered but had to tip over the bar as it was going into the net!
1′ KICKOFF! India start things off and will be attacking from the left to right in the first half. It seems like Chhetri is operating through the middle, Bipin down the left and Manvir down the right!
10:26 pm: The teams have now come onto the pitch and will be undertaking the pre-match rituals. Kick-off in a few minutes, folks!
10:20 pm: The players are now in the dressing rooms getting ready to come out for the game in a few minutes time!
10:15 pm: India also has quite a few players to turn to in terms of their substitutes if the game is still well balanced in the second half. Brandon Fernandes, Ishan Pandita and Udanta Singh are all viable options to turn to for goals – but India have to defend really strongly to keep things competitive in the second half.
10:10 pm: In the other game of the day in India’s group, Afghanistan were held to a 1-1 draw by Bangladesh. This means that 3rd-place Afghanistan are now 2 points above the Blue Tigers. So even a draw could be a massive for India and move them only a single point behind that 3rd spot – upon finishing which India could qualify for the advanced stages of the AFC Cup 2023 qualifiers.
10:05 pm: 5 Bengaluru FC stars are in the starting XI for today – which isn’t surprising considering they played in the AFC Cup qualifiers in April. However, with Sunil, Ashique and Suresh all starting – the Blue Tigers will be dependent on the trio to trigger important counter-attacks and help India create chances.
10:00 pm: Rowllin Borges, Anirudh Thapa and Chinglensana Singh have not even been included in the matchday squad by Igor Stimac, raising questions on their fitness. Any injuries to those two would be a big blow with the games against Bangladesh and Afghanistan coming up. They could, of course, also be rested for this one so that they can feature on Monday against Bangladesh.
9:55 pm: Qatar have also rested their key attacking star Akram Afif for this game. However, they’ve started both strikers Almoez Ali and Mohammed Muntari – who have nice chemistry as they play at Al-Duhail together. The Crimsons are vying for revenge after that 0-0 draw played in 2019 and will be piling on the pressure from the first minute to get many goals from this one.
9:50 pm: A big game today for Glan Martins, who is making his national team debut! He had an impressive AFC Champions League campaign with FC Goa and will look to continue his good form from there. He’ll probably be tasked to mark Qatar’s captain Hassan Al-Haydos – who is the focal point of their attacks too.
9:45 pm: Igor Stimac has gone with a unique line-up that is guaranteed to keep everyone thinking! It seems like a 3-4-3 or even a 5-3-2, with Rahul Bheke and Subhashish Bose slotting in as centre-backs. Pritam Kotal and Ashique Kuruniyan are likely to operate as wingbacks. Up front, it should be Bipin Singh on the right-wing, Sunil Chhetri on the left-wing or accompanying Manvir Singh through the middle. Even if going defensive, this side has enough cover to protect the defenders.
9:40 pm: Here’s the Qatar lineup!
Qatar XI: Al Sheeb, AlRawi, Musaab, Khoukhi, Abdelkarim, Boudiaf, Abdelaziz, Al Haydos, Abdurisag, Almoez, Muntari
Subs: AlBrake(GK), Abunada(GK), Ismail, Tarek, Homam, Waad, Hashim, Al-Hajri, Alahraq, Maarafiya, Umaru
9:35 pm: TEAM NEWS IS IN!
India XI: Gurpreet, Bheke, Kotal, Jhingan, Subhashish, Kuruniyan, Suresh, Glan, Bipin, Chhetri, Manvir
Subs: Dheeraj (GK), Amrinder(GK), Narender, Adil, Sahal, Brandon, Pronay, Udanta, Apuia, Liston, Ishan, Akash,
9:30 pm The Blue Tigers are back! After a spirited draw against Oman and a harrowing 6-0 defeat against UAE in the International Friendlies in March, Igor Stimac and co will now fight it out in a space that matters much, much more. When India take on Qatar tonight, it will mark the resumption of their FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers campaign. In the coming days, they will also play Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Follow India Vs Qatar live action here.
The team are currently placed fourth in Group E of the Second round of the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers. They played five matches so far, but are yet to notch up their first win in the competition.
That said, it is highly unlikely that the Blue Tigers will advance to the next round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers. However, as these games also serve as the Qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup 2023, it is highly important that they finish third in the group so that they can qualify for the next round of qualification for the continental tournament without any hiccups.
A lot has happened with Qatar since they were last held to a surprising draw by India in September 2019. The Crimsons, for one, have only gotten better. They are now ranked 58th in the FIFA World Rankings and fifth among the Asian nations.
Regardless, fans of this Indian football team will be hoping that their favourite side return with a positive result tonight.
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