Heartbreak for India after a controversial goal end World Cup Round 3 dream

Heartbreak for India as they succumb to 1-2 against hosts Qatar in their final FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 Group A match.

India led 1-0 at half time. India took the early lead in the game through Lallianzuala Chhangte (37’), but Qatar came back in the second half through Youssef Ayman Farahat (73’) and Ahmed Alrawi (85’).

The Blue Tigers, who began the night in second place in the group, were relegated to third place after the defeat, thus losing the opportunity to make it to Round 3 of the World Cup qualifiers. They will now proceed to the AFC Asian Cup 2027 Third Round qualification.

After weathering an initial wave of attacks from Qatar, when the day’s skipper and goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu pulled off a couple of crucial saves, India, without Sunil Chhetri after many years, began to put pressure on their hosts.

Mehtab Singh also played his part, making a goal-line block off a shot by Ahmed Alrawi, to keep India in the hunt early on.

Heartbreak for India after a controversial goal end World Cup Round 3 dream

As the first half wore on, India’s three forwards, Rahim Ali, Lallianzuala Chhangte, and Manvir Singh, along with midfielders Brandon Fernandes, Jeakson Singh, and Suresh Wangjam formed a six-man press that launched attacks in waves and did not allow the Qatar defenders to settle on the ball in their own half.

Jeakson played Rahim through behind the Qatar defence in the 25th minute, and the latter sprinted into the box and drove it hard and low across the goal, but the cross evaded the onrushing Chhangte and Manvir.

Almost immediately, Manvir was played through in the 31st minute and just had the keeper to beat, but his effort was parried away. Chhangte intercepted a pass in the Qatar third, played a one-two with Brandon and squared it to Rahim, who was just a yard short of the pass.

The Qatar defence looked shaken, and India were there to capitalise on it. Chhangte opened the scoring in the 37th minute. Jay Gupta, after a one-two with Jeakson on the left flank, played it back to Brandon, who found the perfect weight on his through pass to Chhangte. The nifty winger coolly finished it at the near post.

The momentum completely changed in the second half. India were no longer employing their six-man press, as they remained content with a mid-block instead. Qatar were looking to work the half-space channels, and Alrawi, the recipient of a second cut-back had his shot blocked again by Mehtab.

Sahal Abdul Samad and Liston Colaco, who had replaced Brandon Fernandes and Rahim Ali, almost created that chance. Prowling on the counter, Sahal jinked past his marker and set Liston through, but the latter was just inches offside.

Qatar struck back with a little over 15 minutes of regulation time left, as Youssef Ayman Farahat turned in a cut-back from point-blank range. The Indian players vehemently protested the decision, claiming that the ball had already gone out of play before the goal was scored, but the referee did not budge.

Jay Gupta caused some stir down the left in the 82nd, but a poor touch meant that the Qatar keeper stepped out and parried it off Gupta’s feet. Liston had a chance to score from the rebound, but his shot was deflected before being collected.

India, in their last throw of the dice, brought on Nandha Kumar and Edmund Lalrindika, in place of Gupta, who had hurt himself in the last action, and Chhangte.

Alrawi broke Indian hearts in the 85th when he produced a goal of sublime quality, as he curled it from outside the box, and into the bottom corner past a flailing Gurpreet.

Also ReadFootball School of India announce trials for Young Talents

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the latest happenings in the world of Indian Football

Somaiya FC announces trials for the upcoming 2024-25 Season

Somaiya FC, having secured a commendable 5th position in the MFA Super Division last season, has announced open trials as they gear up for upcoming season. The team, known for…

Share

VR Academy to conduct trials for 2024-25 Season

Mumbai based VR Academy has announced trials for the upcoming 2024-25 season. The club is looking for talented young players to join our esteemed academy and participate in various competitive…

Share

MH ORANJE FC U-17 Trials for the Upcoming Season

With a proud legacy of nurturing talent and achieving excellence, Maharashtra Oranje FC has recently made waves with appearances in I-League 2, securing a remarkable runner-up position in the fiercely…

Share

Football School of India announce trials for Young Talents

Football School of India (FSI) has announced trials for young football enthusiasts in the upcoming week of June. A golden opportunity for aspiring players to showcase their talents and potentially…

Share

MFA Super League club Charkop FC to conduct open trials for upcoming Season

Calling all aspiring football stars! Charkop FC, a MFA super division club based in Charkop, Kandivali, is set to conduct Open Trials for the upcoming season. About Charkop FC: In…

Share

Mumbai 42 Football Academy to conduct trials for Youth players

Newly established Mumbai 42 Football Academy will be conducting trials for young footballers in the upcoming week.

Share

SSE BFC to conduct trials for U9 to U17 age group players

SSE BFC Soccer School will be conducting fresh trials this month for players aged below 17 to be part of their football program SSE BFC Soccer Schools is a football…

Share

India Khelo Football Season 3 Trials for Mumbai and Thane are here

India Khelo Football (IKF) is back with Season 3 of its widely acclaimed trials with an aim to cover more than 50 cities this time around. After the resounding success…

Share

Mastering the Art of Football Trials: Key Pre-Trial Factors to Keep in Mind

Football trials are a critical juncture for aspiring players to showcase their skills and secure a spot in a team. To maximize your chances of success, it’s essential to tailor your approach based on your playing position as well as keeping in mind a few pre-trial factors.

Share

Somaiya Sports Academy to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division campaign

Somaiya Sports Academy is looking for passionate young football players for the Somaiya Sports Academy Football Team to compete in the MFA 2nd Division League 2023-2024. If selected, you will…

Share