Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


India's World Cup Qualifier dreams dashed as controversial Qatar goal ends campaign

The Indian men's football team crashed out of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers as a controversial Qatar goal dashed the nation's hopes.

Indias World Cup Qualifier dreams dashed as controversial Qatar goal ends campaign

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 Jun 2024 6:25 PM GMT

India's quest to qualify for the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers has come to an agonizing end. Despite a valiant effort, they fell short against Qatar, ultimately losing 2-1 in a closely contested match, on Tuesday.

The game began with Qatar asserting their dominance, coming dangerously close to scoring early on.

India's defense, led by Mehtab, put up a resilient fight, thwarting numerous attacks. Mohamed Khaled Gouda set up Ahmed Alrawi multiple times, but Gurpreet Singh's saves and Mehtab's blocks kept India in the game.

India found their rhythm and started exploiting the lack of physicality in Qatar's midfield with Jeakson and Suresh. In the 36th minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte put India ahead.

The play started with a throw-in from Jay Gupta, which Brandon expertly passed along the ground to Chhangte, who made no mistake in converting it into a goal. This gave India a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

The second half saw a rejuvenated Qatar continuously attacking India's defense. Mehtab continued to be a defensive stalwart, making crucial blocks and even attempting a long-range shot.

However, controversy struck in the 73rd minute. During a Qatari free-kick, Gurpreet Singh cleared the ball, which clearly rolled out of play. Alhashmi Mohialdin pulled it back in, and Ayman Farahat scored. Despite protests from the Indian players, the referee allowed the goal, leveling the score at 1-1.

Qatar's relentless pressure paid off in the 87th minute when Ahmed Alrawi finally found the back of the net with a stunning strike. The goal was a beautiful piece of skill but dealt a crushing blow to India's dreams and the hopes of millions of fans.

As the final whistle blew, India's dreams of qualifying for the third round were dashed. The disappointment was compounded by news of Kuwait's victory over Afghanistan, sealing their qualification at India's expense.

Despite the heartbreak, India can take pride in their performance throughout the qualifiers. Mehtab emerged as a defensive stalwart, while Brandon's creative brilliance illuminated the midfield.

Next Story