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India’s World Cup Qualification at Stake as Blue Tigers Start Post Sunil Chhetri Era – News18

India’s World Cup Qualification at Stake as Blue Tigers Start Post Sunil Chhetri Era – News18

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Sunil Chhetri in action for India in his last match. (X)

India take no Qatar in a their last AFC FIFA World Cup Qualifying match.

India will face a strong Qatar side in a crucial AFC FIFA World Cup Qualifying match on Tuesday, June 11 at the Jassim bin Hamad stadium in Doha. Qatar have already qualified for the next round and will comfortably top the group, but India is in a race with Afghanistan and Kuwait for the second spot.

For this fixture, India will also play without the services of their legendary forward, Sunil Chhetri, a name synonymous with Indian football. Chhetri played his final game in the previous qualifier against Kuwait.

Indiaโ€™s recent performances have been disappointing but a strong showing here could mean automatic progression to the AFC Asian Cup 2027 โ€“ a target which coach Igor Stimac has been quite vocal about.

The Blue Tigers have named Gurpreet Singh Sandhu as the captain for this game. With 72 caps, the 32-year-old is now the most experienced and longest-serving player in the national team after Chhetriโ€™s departure.

Qualifying Scenarios For India:

The Blue Tigers enter the match-up in a scenario where they need some points. A loss to Qatar in the final round of the Group A qualifier would mean direct elimination from the World Cup qualifiers and a potentially tricky longer route to the AFC Asia Cup 2027.

If India beats Qatar, they will all but guarantee themselves a spot in the next round of World Cup Qualifiers, thanks to their superior goal difference. If India draw against Qatar, they will qualify for the third round only if the match between Kuwait and Afghanistan, which will kick off in Kuwait City two hours after Indiaโ€™s match, also ends in a draw. In that scenario, India will finish second in the group with six points, the same as Afghanistan, but with a better goal difference.

  • What time will the match between India and Qatar kick off?Kick-off: June 11, Tuesday, 9:15 PM IST
  • Where to Watch the India vs Qatar Match?Football fans can catch all the action on FanCodeโ€™s mobile app (Android, iOS), TV app available on Android TV, Fire TV Stick, Samsung TV, Jio Platforms, Prime Video, Vodafone Idea, Airtel XStream and The match pass will be available at Rs. 25.

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