By defeating Blue Tigers 3-0 at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Qatar continued their winning streak. Qatar, the victors of the Asia Cup, demonstrated once more their invincibility. With their superior skill sets and expertise, they controlled the contest from beginning to end.
Igor Stimac had earlier made five significant changes to the starting lineup from the first game, which ended in Kuwait's defeat. But powerful Qatar managed to steal the game from India despite this tactic. Amarinder Singh took Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's spot in goal, although he wasn't playing at his best.
The fact that Qatar had 10 corners in the first half while India had none indicates how dominant they were. India had to withstand several attacks up to the 40th minute, but at the end of the half, they were playing better. When Boualem Khoukhi fumbled the ball just outside the box in the 42nd minute due to relentless pressure from Indian captain Sunil Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa had a genuine opportunity to score. He played brilliantly for Thapa, but even though he beat Qatari custodian Meshaal Barsham, his shot missed the post.
Early in the game, midfielder Mashaal Abdullah of Qatar took advantage of an Indian defensive error to take the lead. Moez Ali's incredible free shot from the edge of the area gave the visitors a two-goal lead before halftime.
Sandesh Jhingan's alert stop in the 19th minute spared Amrinder the humiliation of giving up a goal due to an incorrect pass. Three minutes later, though, Amrinder proved to be equal to the challenge as Mansour's brilliant back heel in the midfield released Afif for a single run down the left. His attempt was blocked by Amrinder just outside the goalmouth.
In the second half, India made a valiant attempt to get back into the game, but a resilient Qatari defense foiled them. In the 86th minute, Yusuf Abdurisag, a replacement, knocked in a cross from the left flank to give the visitors the victory.
Here are the India v/s Qatar football match highlights
- 2’ - Qatar missed an early chance
- 4’ - Qatar wend ahead!
- 22’ - Amrinder made a super-save
- 31’ - Mashaal almost got the double
- 36’ - Apuia failed to score the equalizer
- 42’ - Thapa’s finish went wide
- HALF-TIME - IND 0-1 QAT
- 46’ - Qatar made it two!
- 65’ - Sahal came close to scoring
- 78’ - Qatar missed a chance!
- 86’ - Qatar scored again!!!
- 90+2’ - India squandered big chance
- Full-time - IND 0-3 QAT
With this victory, Qatar now leads Group A by six points. They have now won all three of their games, with 11 goals scored and 0 goals given up. With three points from two games, India is still in second place.
The teams will now focus on their upcoming games, which are scheduled for March 2024. India will visit Afghanistan, and Qatar will play Bangladesh.
On the basis of the latest soccer highlights, here are Group A's current standings:
- Qatar: 6 points
- Kuwait: 3 points
- India: 3 points
- Afghanistan: 0 points
All things considered, Qatar's triumph was well-earned. They demonstrated quality, and the team they face in the remaining qualifiers will be difficult to defeat. If India hopes to have any chance of competing for a spot in the World Cup, they will need to make major progress.