India’s 2026 World Cup qualifying tour ended with a dramatic and controversial 2-1 loss to Qatar. Despite a strong performance from Lallianzuala Chhangte and an early goal, the match at Doha’s Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium was still full of nerve-wracking moments and controversy. Let’s take a closer look at this exciting encounter, the impact on Indian football and how 188BET India is supporting Indian sport.

The stakes are extremely high as India, ranked 121st in the world, take on the mighty Qatar, ranked 34th. The atmosphere was electric as Indian fans dreamed of a miracle to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

In the 37th minute, the Indian team won the gold medal. Brandon Fernandez’s shot missed and landed easily at the feet of Lalian Zula Chante. Chant coolly slotted the ball past Qatari goalkeeper Shehab Elleti to give India an unexpected lead and break their 682-minute dry run goal drought. Indian fans cheered, hoping to defeat the defending Asian champions.

Despite taking the lead, India missed several opportunities to extend their advantage. Manvir Singh found himself one-on-one with the Kada keeper but was unable to convert. Changte also missed a follow-up opportunity. Those missed opportunities would later prove costly as the game progressed.

Qatar stepped up their attack in the second half, bringing in senior players Homam Ahmed and Khalid Ali, who turned the tide in their favour. A controversial equalizer was achieved in the 73rd minute. Khadda’s free kick was misdirected towards his own goal by Mehtab and although Gurpreet Singh Sandhu kicked it away, the referee did not realize that the ball had crossed the goal line. Amid India’s protests, Mohialdin Alhashmi took the opportunity to flick the ball back for Yousef Aymen to score.

The final blow came in the 85th minute when Ahmed Ravi scored with a beautiful side-foot arc, leaving Gurpreet helpless. Despite India’s valiant efforts in the final minutes, including a one-on-one chance from Jay Gupta, they were unable to equalize. In the end, Qatar won 2-1, knocking India out of the qualifying round.

India have won just one of their six games in Group A, finishing ahead of Afghanistan on goal difference. Even a draw with Qatar was not enough, as Kuwait secured a second qualifying spot by defeating Afghanistan. India’s campaign started promisingly but was marred by missed opportunities and a lack of consistency.

Although disappointing, India’s campaign showed some promise and highlighted areas for improvement. The controversial nature of the equalizer will be a talking point, but India’s inability to capitalize on their chances was also crucial. As a fan, it’s vital to keep the faith and support the team through their journey.

At 188BET India, we are committed to supporting and promoting sports in India. We believe in the potential of Indian athletes and the passion of Indian fans. As we look forward to future matches, we remain committed to bringing you the best sports coverage, exciting betting opportunities and unwavering support for Indian football and other sports.

Who scored India’s goal against Qatar?

Lallianzuala Chhangte scored India’s only goal of the first half.

What was the final score of the India vs Qatar match?

Qatar defeated India 2-1.

Where does India rank in the group?

India finished third in Group A with one win from six matches.

Who advances from Group A to the next qualifying round?

Qatar and Kuwait advance to the next round of 2026 World Cup qualifying.

How will India fare in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers?

India had a challenging season, registering just one win in six games and finishing third in the group.

India’s 2026 World Cup qualifiers ended with pride and heartbreak. The match against Qatar showed India’s potential and resilience despite the controversial equalizer. The experience gained will be invaluable as the team looks to the future. The important thing for fans and players alike is to take this as a learning experience and come back stronger.

By Robin

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