FIFA World Cup 2026: India lose to Qatar 0-3 in second round qualifier

India lost to Qatar 0-3 in the second-round qualifier match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup at Bhubaneswar on 21 November. This defeat also marks an end to the 15-match unbeatable streak of the Indian side.

For the visiting side, Moustafa Tarek Mashal scored in the 4th minute, Almeoz Ali in the 47th minute, and Yusuf Adurisag in the 86th minute.

India have been seeking inspiration from their famous 0-0 draw against Qatar four years ago, however, could barely create scoring chances. The players did get a couple of opportunities at the fag end of the first half but wasted them.

For the home team, the losing margin could have been more, had Qatar not missed several chances while dominating throughout the 90 minutes at the Kalinga Stadium.

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The current head coach of the India national football team, Igor Štimac, is still hopeful to finish second in Group A and qualify for the third round for the first time following their 1-0 win over Kuwait in their away match on 16 November.

Looking at the match, India’s defense appeared weak from the very beginning after they conceded a goal in the 4th minute as Moustafa Tarek Mashal ensured the football hit the nets.

Mashal sent a low right-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Amrinder Singh, who was fielded in place of Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, all ends up.

Akram Afif missed three chances which allowed India to go into the breather just one goal down.

Qatar’s prolific striker Almeoz Ali — who scored four goals in a previous match against Afghanistan, nipped it in the bud by doubling the lead in the second minute of the second half, i.e. 47th minute.

With just four minutes left from regulation time, Qatar made it 3-0 (86th minute) with Yusuf Adurisag heading home after connecting a cross from Mohammed Albayati.

India is all set to play their 2026 World Cup qualifiers match against Afghanistan at the neutral venue of Tajikistan’s Dushanbe on 21 March 2024.

With agency inputs. 

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Updated: 21 Nov 2023, 09:51 PM IST

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