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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Qatar vs India: Three key battles that could decide the 2026 World Cup Qualifier

Published at :June 10, 2024 at 3:32 PM
Modified at :June 10, 2024 at 3:32 PM
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(Courtesy : Getty Images/AIFF)

Keshava Verma

Indian football team take on Qatar on the 11th of June.

India will play against Qatar in their final fixture in round 2 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Blue Tigers have a lot on their plate on the 11th, as they are yet to seal a spot in the third rounds. 

India need a win to at least confirm their qualification, whereas anything else will leave their qualification hopes dependent on the result of the game between Kuwait and Afghanistan. With so much at stake, India’s game against Qatar proves to be a decisive game, that will witness the Blue Tigers go all in to make history by qualifying for the third round of qualifiers. 

With that said, let us take a look at the three key battles that are set to take place in the game between India and Qatar

Ahmed Al Rawi vs Rahul Bheke

Qatar vs India: Three key battles that could decide World Cup Qualifier.
Rahul Bheke has a tough job on his hands against Qatar.

In the absence of Qatar’s go-to attacking players, 20-year-old Ahmed Al Rawi is getting his shot to prove his worth on the continental stage.

The Al Rayyan striker hasn’t disappointed thus far, as he already has a goal to his name, as he found the back of the net against Kuwait. With the youngster high on confidence, Al Rawi is a sureshot threat to India’s backline, and Rahul Bheke will have to take it upon himself to try and stop the attacker in his quest. 

Also Read: Qatar vs India Preview, predicted lineup, injury news, H2H, telecast | 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Homan Ahmed vs Nikhil Poojary

Qatar vs India: Three key battles that could decide World Cup Qualifier.
Nikhil Poojary will play a key role for India against Qatar.

Nikhil Poojary has had quite a bumpy 2023-24 season, as the left-back was distant from his game, and has lacked the quality that he is so well known for. 

Amidst this poor form, the Bengaluru FC player will once again face a tough challenge on Tuesday, as he will battle it out against Qatar’s Homan Ahmed, who has been in fine form lately and was one of Qatar’s star players in the game against Afghanistan last week. 

Homan’s incredible speed and dribbling ability will surely pose a lot of problems to Nikhil, who will have to be at the top of his game and prove his worth yet again.

Vikram Partap Singh vs Yousuf Marel

Qatar vs India: Three key battles that could decide World Cup Qualifier.
All eyes will be on Vikram Partap as India need goals against Qatar. (Image Source: AIFF)

With Sunil’s retirement last week, it is now pretty imminent that Vikram Partap will start at the front for India unless Igor plots a different tactical approach. 

Vikram was impressive in his previous games, as he made some great runs, and was able to put himself in the right places. 

The attacker will, however, come up against Qatar’s brilliant defense. Yousuf Marel, who plays in the Qatari back three, is likely to bout it out against Vikram, and it will be interesting to see how the attacker takes up the challenge and announces himself as India’s new number 9. 

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