India vs Qatar: Preview, Head-to-Head, Live streaming info
Despite missing key players like Brandon Fernandes, India's hopes soar as they aim for a historic breakthrough in the AFC World Cup Qualifiers against Qatar, the sixth-ranked team in Asia.
After a memorable away victory against Kuwait, the Indian national football team returns home to face the formidable Qatar in a sold-out Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, on Tuesday. Despite missing key players due to injuries, including the recent setback with Brandon Fernandes, the home advantage becomes crucial in their encounter with Qatar, who arrive on the back of an 8-1 win over Afghanistan.
The Blue Tigers aim to secure a spot in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup by finishing among the top two teams in their group. While they've never advanced to the third round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the recent 1-0 win over Kuwait has elevated their chances.
The history of India's World Cup qualifying journey has been challenging, beginning in 1985 for the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Out of 48 qualifiers played, India won 10, with the most notable performance coming in the 2002 edition, earning 11 points in six games.
Qatar, ranked 61st in the FIFA rankings and the host to the 2022 World Cup, poses a tough challenge as the sixth-best team in Asia. However, Indian football enthusiasts vividly recall the memorable draw against Qatar in the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers when the Arabic commentator exclaimed, "Please Gurpreet open the door."
The famous draw against Qatar
In the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers, India secured a commendable draw against AFC Cup 2019 champions Qatar at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. Despite facing a formidable Qatari side, the Blue Tigers, under coach Igor Stimac, showcased a resilient defence led by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sandesh Jhingan, and Adil Khan. The match ended in a hard-fought 0-0 stalemate, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's stellar goalkeeping crucial in preserving a clean sheet.
Head to head
In their three encounters, all in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, India lost two against Qatar and managed one draw. The Blue Tigers aim to alter this record in their upcoming clash.
Coach Igor Stimac's squad comprises a blend of experience and emerging talent:
- Goalkeepers: Amrinder Singh, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Vishal Kaith.
- Defenders: Akash Mishra, Lalchungnunga, Mehtab Singh, Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke, Roshan Singh Naorem, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhashish Bose.
- Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Apuia, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Rohit Kumar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Udanta Singh Kumam.
- Forwards: Ishan Pandita, Lalianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Rahul KP, Sunil Chhetri.
Live streaming info:
Match: India vs Qatar
Date: November 21, 2023
Time: 7:00 PM Indian Standard Time
Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar
Live Stream: Sports 18, Jio Cinema