Qatar vs India: Another Heartbreak for the Blue Tigers following a controversial exit from FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers

Two late goals from Aymen and Al-Rawi helped Qatar beat India at home and following that, the Blue Tigers are out of the FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers.

Abishek Goswami
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Qatar vs India: A narrow 2-1 controversial loss for India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier game against Qatar

A narrow 2-1 controversial loss for India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier game against Qatar | Image: AIFF

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India lost to Qatar by 2-1 at the Jassim Bin Hammad Stadium in Doha on Tuesday and their campaign is over. Qatar dominated the game but the Blue Tigers took the early lead following a brilliant goal from Chhangte in the first half. Qatar made a comeback after a controversial goal in the second half. It didn't take them long to find the winner and with this loss, India finished third in the Group A table which means they have failed to make it to the Round 3 of the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers. The Blue Tigers also failed to get automatic qualification to the AFC Asian Cup 2027. 

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Qatar vs India: What happened in the game?

Qatar vs India: Brandon Fernandes after the 2-1 loss against Qatar
Brandon Fernandes after the loss against Qatar | Image: AIFF

Qatar started the game brilliantly. They kept possession and dominated the game but couldn't break the deadlock. In the 12th minute, Qatar got a golden chance. Gouda managed to beat Jay Gupta and make his way inside the box. He spotted Alrawi in the middle and found him with a cutback pass. Alrawi went for a first-time shot but Mehtab Singh put his body on the line and made an excellent goal-saving block. It could have been the opening goal for Qatar. India were unable to create anything until the 37th minute.

Lallianzuala Chhangte scored the opener and gave India the lead out of nowhere. Brandon found Chhangte with what looked like an unintentional pass from the edge of the box. Chhangte kept his calm and slotted the ball inside the net. The Blue Tigers finished the half on a strong note with the help of Chhangte's goal.

Qatar started the second half just like they did in the first half. India decided to sit back and defend, going according to plan until Qatar found its controversial equalizer. The Indian players thought that the ball had gone out of play after Gurpreet had saved a header from Aymen and the ball was out of play. But the referee decided not to blow the whistle. Al Hassan pulled the ball out of play and played it to Aymen, who put it inside the net. 

The Indian players protested, saying the ball had gone out of play. However, the referee consulted his assistant and the goal stood. Multiple replays showed the ball was clearly out of play. The entire ball was out of play. India became a victim of some terrible refereeing and the score was level. 

Qatar took the lead soon after scoring the equalizer. Alrawi got the ball at the edge of the Indian box, cut in, and went for a curler. It beat Gurpreet and went in. Conversely, Kuwait beat Afghanistan by 1-0 to claim the second spot. India couldn't do anything in the last few minutes and their campaign came to an end. Igor Stimac's men with the loss, also fail to get automatic qualification to the AFC Asian Cup 2027. 

Qatar vs India Lallianzuala Chhangte Igor Stimac