FIFA WC Qualifiers: India face Qatar; post-Chhetri era begins

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | June 11, 2024 IST

Indian soccer team

Doha, June 11: In the last couple of years, they hardly missed their star player Sunil Chhetri in international matches. Chhetri later became their affable skipper leading every battle from the front.

But on June 6, Sunil Chhetri played his last international soccer match in Kolkata's Salt Lake Stadium against Kuwait, which ended in a goalless draw.

Now, it's time Indian soccer learn to play international matches without Chhetri. 

Meanwhile, Indian team is gearing up for the last match of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualifiers Round 2 is a make-or-break encounter for India. 

India face Asian champions Qatar away from home on Tuesday, with a target in mind that can change the course of Indian football history.

Never before in the times gone by could India make the Round 3 of the World Cup qualifiers. Their hopes are still alive this time, but have a mountain task ahead of them.

India have had a lukewarm qualification campaign for the World Cup thus far, with a 1-0 victory away in Kuwait giving them a lot of hope, before draws against Afghanistan (0-0 away) and Kuwait (0-0 at home), and defeats against Qatar (0-3 at home) and Afghanistan (1-2 at home) left them in a vulnerable position.

While they are still second in Group A with five points from as many matches, they must now ensure a result against the reigning champions of the AFC Asian Cup 2023, and hope for a favourable score-line in the match between Kuwait and Afghanistan, later in the day.

If they get a draw against their hosts, the Blue Tigers will hope for the same in the game between Kuwait and Afghanistan. The equation will be simpler for India if they defeat Qatar, however, though the task of achieving that feat is anything but elementary.

India vs Qatar timing: India vs Qatar will commence on Tuesday at 9:15 PM IST.

India vs Qatar match venue: India vs Qatar will be played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Broadcasting details: The match between India and Qatar will not be broadcasted in India.

Live Streaming details: India vs Qatar will be live-streamed on FanCode app and website.

India's 23-member squad for the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Qatar:

Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith.

Defenders: Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta, Mehtab Singh, Narender, Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke.

Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Edmund Lalrindika, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Nandhakumar Sekar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam.

Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Vikram Partap Singh, David Lalhlansanga.

If India can beat Qatar or can force a draw, it would be a nice beginning for the team in the post Sunil Chhetri era. (With IANS support)

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