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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Top three performers from India vs Qatar clash in 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Published at :June 12, 2024 at 8:16 PM
Modified at :June 12, 2024 at 8:17 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF Media)

Gourav Samal

The Blue Tigers are out of contention to qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup

The Indian Men’s Football team had a heartbreaking end to their second round of 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers as they faced a defeat against Qatar in the second leg of the match at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar. 

Although the Indian team took the lead in the match in the 37th minute of play with a goal by Lallianzuala Chhangte, Qatar replied back with two goals in the second half to take the lead and eventually win the match shattering India’s all hope for qualifying to the next round. 

A controversy also came into limelight with the first goal of Qatar as it was clearly visible that the ball went out of the line and a corner kick should have been awarded to the home team. Irrespective of the drama in the middle, at the end, Qatar and Kuwait qualify from group A to the next round of the qualifiers

In this article, we will take a look at the top three performers of the game. 

3. Lallianzuala Chhangte

Apart from the goal against Kuwait in November 2023, Sunil Chhetri managed to score through a penalty against Afghanistan in their second-leg match. Chhangte’s goal provided a ray of hope for the Indian team and the fans in the stadium as well as back at home who started believing in getting past the second round of qualifiers. 

Although he had a low key start in the match and never looked like capitalizing on the chances created, he improved his game and gave India the lead in the first half which boosted the team’s morale.  

Also Read: Key talking points from India’s controversial loss against Qatar in World Cup qualifiers

2. Alhasmi Mohialdin 

The centre-back of Qatar had a brilliant game under his boots. He remained the pillar for his team at the back end and was seen cutting out several threats created by the Indian side. Going by the stats, he made seven clearances in the match, along with two successful tackles and won eight duels. 

Moreover, his name also reflected on the scoresheet as the assist provider for the controversial goal that helped Qatar to equalize the game and then go on to win the match. 

1. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu

After the departure of Sunil Chhetri from the team, the onus was put on the shoulders of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The new skipper never looked under pressure while handling the opponent’s attack along with guiding his teammates in the middle. 

Even though India lost by 2-1 goals, Gurpreet had made some prompt saves in the match and was quite active while putting the ball forward without wasting a bit of time in the middle. 

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