Reported By: Ritayan Basu
Final Up to date: November 20, 2023, 21:32 IST
The Indian males’s soccer group had a dream begin to Spherical 2 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 Joint Qualification marketing campaign. A win away to Kuwait means a statistical benefit in opposition to the group the Blue Tigers are poised to combat over the second spot with, which implies passage via to the subsequent spherical of qualifiers, in addition to, a assured spot within the subsequent version of the AFC Asian Cup.
Qatar, the defending Asian champions and ranked 61st within the FIFA rankings, is up subsequent. India are ranked 102nd.
India had managed to carry the then newly topped Asian Cup winners Qatar 0-0 in 2019. Qatar did go on to beat India 1-0 within the reverse fixture within the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
A win at residence in opposition to the facet which shall be combating for the place of group toppers is probably not straightforward this time however acquainted circumstances will certainly assist. Qatar, of their first recreation, had displayed rampaging type to outclass Afghanistan 8-1.
The star for Qatar was Almoez Ali, who was the highest scorer for them on the 2019 Asian Cup and would be the point of interest of their assault once more. Hassan Al-Haydos, Qatar’s most-capped among the many squad, may even pose a critical menace, able to each scoring targets and offering assists.
Sunil Chhetri and his boys will host Qatar on the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. India had began their journey this 12 months with the Intercontinental Cup on the identical venue and went on to dominate the sphere.
Regardless of India’s successful momentum coming to a halt forward of the beginning of the World Cup qualifiers, Igor Stimac led India to a medical win of their opener. The win ensured India bought an away win for the primary time for the reason that 2021 SAFF Championship ultimate, a 3-0 victory in opposition to Nepal, in Male, Maldives. The Blue Tigers since then have managed to attract as soon as and misplaced seven away. Contrastingly, India are nonetheless on an 11-game unbeaten streak at residence, with losses coming solely within the King’s Cup and Merdeka Cup.
This recreation can also be the final match scheduled for India forward of their AFC Asian Cup marketing campaign. That won’t matter however a win or a draw in opposition to among the finest sides within the continent will certainly go a great distance in proving India’s rising credentials.
Manvir Singh, who had scored the lone objective for India in opposition to Kuwait, could also be out of the match with him lacking from the final observe session earlier than the match.
If the Blue Tigers get a victory in opposition to Qatar, it is going to be their first-ever, having performed three matches, with one ending in a draw.
India had suffered a heavy 6-0 defeat in opposition to Qatar again in 1996 and a constructive consequence will imply lots now.
Followers had been the spotlight of their win over Kuwait with Indians outnumbering the house supporters on the Jaber Al-Ahmad Worldwide Stadium. Again in India, followers in sports-loving Bhubaneswar have already made positive of a sold-out venue.
With the followers’ help and a superb residence report, the Indian males’s soccer group shall be eager on a constructive consequence in opposition to Qatar, which can once more assist them take a more in-depth step to securing their place within the subsequent spherical.
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