Qatar vs India – Blue Tigers’ Bid to Save Face

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The stage is set and excitement is mounting for the eagerly anticipated World Cup Qualifier Round 2 match between India and Qatar on June 11th, 2024 at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. As the Indian Football fans gave Sunil Chhetri an emotional farewell, the Blue Tigers were held to an otherwise dull goalless draw last week, leaving their hopes of making it through to Round 3 of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers hanging by a thread. India will need at least a draw against the current Asian Champions, Qatar to keep their World Cup dreams alive.

Recent Form

India

India’s recent form is woeful and concerning, to say the least. The Blue Tigers have been defensively poor and especially ordinary when it comes to scoring goals. In their last game against Kuwait, Indian forwards failed to convert any of their chances. With the absence of their talismanic captain Sunil Chhetri, the forwards will have to show something different if they want a favorable result from this game. The midfield has looked clueless at times and has not been able to control the flow of the games at all, resulting in a very haphazard display of football going forward.

Owing to a couple of disappointing results against a much weaker Afghanistan team in this Qualifiers, India is yet to win an international match in 2024. With the the team scoring only one goal this year and conceding a total of eight goals, things are not looking very promising for Igor Stimac’s men.

Qatar

india opponents

Qatar on the other hand is in a league of its own in Asia at the moment. After their triumph in the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year, Qatar are one of the best teams in Asia if not the best. Having already qualified to the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, Qatar decided to play a very young side against Afghanistan last week, resting almost all their key stars and playing mostly U-23 players. This allowed Afghanistan to get a crucial point against them. The Maroons will play a similar squad against India as well, making the clash relatively more evenly matched as before.

Team News

Following the goalless draw against Kuwait, there were a few exclusions from the Indian squad. Igor Stimac will be without Captain Sunil Chhetri, who played his last game for the National Team last week. Along with him, Amey Ranawade, Lalchungnunga and Subhasish Bose will not be traveling to Doha as well, significantly weakening India’s defensive depth. Narender Gehlot has been added to the squad as a replacement. Apart from that, the same squad will travel to Doha.

Qatar Head Coach Tintin Marquez is expected to keep the same U-23-based squad for the final game even after a disappointing result against Afghanistan, prioritizing giving young players some invaluable exposure of playing at the International stage.

Head to Head Record

Historically, Qatar has had a better record against the Blue Tigers, having only faced each other five times at the senior level. Two of these games were international friendlies where they drew one in 2010 and India won the other by a 1-2 margin in 2011. They met three more times in the World Cup qualifiers. Their first clash in the World Cup qualifiers ended in a draw in 2019. Qatar won the rest of the two games. They won one by a 1-0 margin in 2021. Their most recent match was the first leg of this World Cup qualifiers campaign held in November, last year. India lost the match by a 0-3 margin.

Probable Starting Lineups

Qatar vs India – Blue Tigers' Bid to Save Face 447736220 882287880608556 2494393416588945818 n

India XI – Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (GK), Anwar Ali, Rahul Bheke, Jay Gupta, Nikhil Poojary, Brandon Fernandes, Anirudh Thapa, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Rahim Ali, Lallinzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco.

Qatar XI – Al-Sheeb; Yousif, Aiash, Marei, Al-Amin; Mashaal, Al-Ahrak; Gouda, Al-Mejaba, Al-Hassan; Al-Rawi

Match Prediction

With this being India’s last chance to make it into the next Qualifying Round, Igor Stimac and his boys will have to play for the win to have their destiny in their own hands, and therefore they can be expected to play an attacking brand of football against a relatively weaker Qatar side. In the case of a draw, India will have to hope the game between Kuwait and Afghanistan also ends in a draw to qualify as the second best team in the group.

Considering the desperate situation for the Blue Tigers, with their chances boosted by a weakened Qatar side who were held to a draw by a much weaker Afghanistan side last week, IFTWC predicts a 1-0 win for the Indian team.

Telecast and Streaming

The FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier match between India and Qatar will telecast live on the Sports18 Network and will also be streamed live on Jio Cinema.


Follow IFTWC for the latest updates on Indian Football

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