India vs Afghanistan, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 Highlights: Below-par India face embarrassing 1-2 defeat against Afghanistan

India faced an embarrassing defeat against the lowest-ranked team in the group, Afghanistan by 1-2 in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers football match in Guwahati

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Koushik Biswas
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Indian team had to suffer a huge loss against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary joint qualifiers in Guwahati

Indian team celebrate Sunil Chhetri's goal in the India vs Afghanistan match in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Guwahati. Image | AIFF Media

Indian Football team suffered an embarrassing 1-2 defeat against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 andย AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary joint qualifiers in Guwahati. Though the Blue Tigers are still at the number two position in the points table, a defeat at the hands of the lowest-ranked team in the group, makes things difficult for Igor Simac's men.ย 

Sunil Chhetri on his milestone game was able to find the net in the first half from the penalty spot. But, two late goals from the visitors in the second half made it possible for them to leave India with tears of joy. A mistake from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the dying minutes of the match also helped Ashley Westwood's men with a penalty which was converted with ease by Mukhammad.

This was Koushik Biswas bringing you all the LIVE updates of the India vs Afghanistan FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match in Guwahati. I hope you enjoyed the coverage. For the highlights of the match read the LIVE updates below.

Read Also: Players with the most appearances for India in International Football

Match Details

Match:ย India vs Afghanistan, FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026, Group A

Date:ย 26 March 2024, Tuesday.

Time:ย 7 PM IST

Venue: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati, India

Streaming Details:ย Sports18, Jio Cinema

Final score: India 1 ( Sunil Chhetri), Afghanistan 2 (Akbari, Mukhammad)

  • Mar 26, 2024 20:50 IST
    89' | Lead for Afghanistan | IND 1-2 AFG

    Visitors take the lead as Mukhammad found the right corner with ease. A huge moment for Afghanistan and the Group.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:48 IST
    87' | Penalty for Afghanistan | IND 1-1 AFG

    Gurpreet Singh Sandhu comes in and tackles Ahadi inside the box to give a penalty to the visitors.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:33 IST
    70' | Afghanistan equalise | IND 1-1 AFG

    Akbari equalises for the visitors. Anwar Ali on the left tried his best first stop the cross. Subhasis Bose then took a blow on his chest to block another shot. But the rebound ball fell onto the feet of Rahmat Akbari whose shot went straight through Rahul Bheke before beating Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:41 IST
    38' | Sunil scores from the spot | IND 1-0 AFG

    Indian captain puts it in the right corner for his 94th goal. He never disappoints in his landmark games. He now has a goal in his 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, 125th and 150 games. India take the lead. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:07 IST
    3' | Huge miss from Manvir | IND 0-0 AFG

    Brilliant start from India. Brandon on the left with a great cross for Sunil Chhetri who made a quick turn before hitting the post with his shot. However, Manvir could not do the needful in the rebound ball. He skies it up for the first miss of the night.



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:18 IST
    Points table after the match

    FIFA World Cup qualifiers points table after the match



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:15 IST
    We stuck to the plan

    "I just said GO ON to the boys at half-time, this is our 2nd win in many years against India. We were confident of getting something out, there was no way we could go back without scoring against India. Glad we stuck to the plan," Ashley Westwood expressed after the match.



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:14 IST
    Chhetri can't look



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:11 IST
    Igor Stimac still has hopes

    "We lacked control. I was not happy about that. For most of the game, we had control. I am confident about what we are going to do in June," Igor Stimac said in the post-match show.



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:07 IST
    Afghanistan are delighted



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:04 IST
    Full time | Afghanistan stun India | IND 1-2 AFG

    It is the final whistle here in Guwahati and Ashley Westwood's team have stunned the home team. Afghanistan win after a mistake from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the dying minutes. This win now changes everything in the group. Is it time for Igor Stimac? The time will tell but many things need to change in Indian football now.



  • Mar 26, 2024 21:00 IST
    90+9' | Amiri with a block | IND 1-2 AFG

    Amiri blocks a cross from Chhangte.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:53 IST
    90' | Five minutes added | IND 1-2 AFG

    Five minutes added to the final half.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:45 IST
    85' | Change for India | IND 1-1 AFG

    Vikram Pratap Singh replaces Jeakson Singh.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:44 IST
    83' | Manvir goes off-target | IND 1-1 AFG

    Manvir Singh goes off-target with the header from a Nikhil Poojary cross.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:42 IST
    82' | Chhangte's shot is blocked | IND 1-1 AFG

    Chhangte's shot is blocked by Sharif Mukhammed. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:29 IST
    68' | Sunil goes off | IND 1-0 AFG

    Three changes for India. Sunil Chhetri is replaced by Lalianzuala Chhangte. Thapa replaced Brandon while Mahesh replaced Liston Colaco.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:26 IST
    65' | Change for Afghanistan | IND 1-0 AFG

    Afghanistan make their first change. Omid Popalzay is replaced by Fareed Sadad.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:25 IST
    62' | Popalzay goes off target | IND 1-0 AFG

    Popalzay on the left cuts back in before shooting the ball wide of the goal post. Gurpreet seems not impressed with the closeins by the defenders. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:19 IST
    58' | Apuia looks injured | IND 1-0 AFG

    Apuia looks injured in the ribs after a tussle. Looks like Chhange will come in for him.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:18 IST
    Penalty that gave India the lead

    Sunil Chhetri scored his 94th international goal against Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:16 IST
    54' | Stimac looking for options | IND 1-0 AFG

    With players losing focus, Igor Stimac does not want to take any chance and has Chhangte and Mahesh warmup on the sildelines.



  • Mar 26, 2024 20:06 IST
    Second half starts

    Afghanistan get things underway in the second half. No changes from either of the teams.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:52 IST
    Half-time | IND 1-0

    India leave the field with a 1-0 lead over the Afghans. At half-time, Igor Stimac's men will be the happier ones after a goal from captain Sunil Chhetri on his 150th game. However, with three yellow cards already, he might have to look for options in the second half.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:49 IST
    45' | 3 minutes added

    3 minutes added to the first half.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:47 IST
    44' | Liston misses a chance | IND 1-0 AFG

    Liston Colaco could not control the ball after receiving a great visionary pass from Brandon from the middle. Liston would be disappointed with that as he could have easily go for the goal with no Afghan player near to him.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:45 IST
    43' | Yellow card | IND 1-0 AFG

    Yellow card for Rahul Bheke. India's third yellow card of the night. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:45 IST
    40' | Ahadi's curler is off-target | IND 1-0 AFG

    Ahadi's left-footed curler from outside the box misses the target. Good from him but he could have enter the final third for a better chance. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:39 IST
    36' | Penalty for India | IND 0-0 AFG

    India get the penalty as Manvir Singh's cross is handeled with hands by Amiri. He gets the yellow card as well. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:38 IST
    34' | Not clinical from India in the final third | IND 0-0 AFG

    India, just like the last match have not been clinicial in the final third as of now. Brandon and Apui have tried to create some chances, but none have been fruitful. In the meantime, Afghanistan time-to-time have looked threatening  and create a few chances as well.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:27 IST
    25' | Yellow card | IND 0-0 AFG

    Brandon gets the match's first yellow card as he tries to stop Ahahdi on the counterattack.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:26 IST
    23' | Manvir wastes the ball | IND 0-0 AFG

    Manvir on the right receives a good ball from Apuia on the run but his cross towards Brandon or Liston is off-target.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:23 IST
    20' | Anwar Ali with the block | IND 0-0 AFG

    Anwar Ali with a good block as Afghanistan were able to get a shot in from a longe range after a few blocks. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:22 IST
    19' | Poojary makes an important interception

    Nikhil Poojary on the right, makes an important interception to block out an attack from Taufee.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:18 IST
    14' | Apuia playing a lot further up | IND 0-0 AFG

    Apuia is playing a lot further up to link up with Manvir on the flank and create more chances. This time he cuts back in to receives Manvir's pass. However, his attempted cross is deflected for a corner.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:11 IST
    8' | Save from Gurpreet | IND 0-0 AFG

    Nearly for Afghanistan. Haroon Fakhrauddin nearly put the visitors in front with the leaping header from the corner. Gurpreet was good enough to make the save.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:09 IST
    7' | Bheke clears it out | IND 0-0 AFG

    Rahul Bheke made a clearance with the header as Ahadi's corner was going towards the target. First corner of the match.



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:03 IST
    Kick-off

    Here we go. Infront of nearly a full house in Guwahati, India get things underway. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:03 IST
    Kick-off

    Here we go. Infront of nearly a full house in Guwahati, India get things underway. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:03 IST
    Kick-off

    Here we go. Infront of nearly a full house in Guwahati, India get things underway. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 19:00 IST
    National anthems are done!

    Sunil Chhetri during the national anthem

    We are just minutes away from the kick-off!



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:55 IST
    Teams are coming out of the tunnle

    A huge roar for the Blue Tigers as they come out of the tunnel. 



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:54 IST
    Full house in Guwahati



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:47 IST
    Warmups are done!



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:46 IST
    Sunil is ready for his 150th match

    Sunil Chhetri in the warmups before the India vs Afghanistan FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2026 match



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:28 IST
    Afghanistan playing XI

    Afghanistan playing XI: Ovays (Gk), Habibulla Askar, Zohib Islam Amiri, Mahboob Hanifi, Zelfy Nazary, Mosaer Ahadi, Rahmat Akbari, Sharif Mukhammad, Omid Popalzay, Jabar Sharza, Taufee Skandari



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:23 IST
    Tigers have arrived at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:19 IST
    Stimac makes three changes

    India's playing XI: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Gk), Rahul Bheke, Subhasish Bose, Anwar Ali, Jeakson, Manvir Singh, Brandon Fernandes, Sunil Chhetri (C), Liston Colaco, Apuia, Nikhil Poojary



  • Mar 26, 2024 18:12 IST
    India's playing XI



  • Mar 26, 2024 17:23 IST
    AIFF Congratulate Sunil Chhetri for his 150th international game

    AIFF Congratulate Sunil Chhetri for his 150th international game



Indian Football Sunil Chhetri Igor Stimac FIFA World Cup Qualifiers