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World Cup qualifiers: India v Qatar- Players to watch out for, Form Guide

Here are the form of India and Qatar and players to watch out for before the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers second round clash.

World Cup qualifiers: India v Qatar- Players to watch out for, Form Guide

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 Nov 2023 10:35 AM GMT

India's journey in World Cup qualifiers has been marked by highs and lows. Despite never reaching the third round, the 2002 performance, especially the memorable victory against UAE, remains etched in history. The recent draw against Qatar in 2022 showcased India's growing resilience.

Most memorable games:

The 2002 triumph against UAE, fueled by Jules Alberto's set-piece magic, and the hard-fought 0-0 draw against Qatar in 2022 are standout moments. The draw against Qatar highlighted India's defensive prowess under coach Igor Stimac, with Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's goalkeeping earning them a crucial point.

Current scenario:

With a recent away win against Kuwait, India eyes the third round. Qatar poses a formidable challenge, but positive results against Kuwait and Afghanistan could pave the way forward, regardless of the outcome against Qatar.

Head to head:

In three encounters, India lost twice to Qatar and managed one draw in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, showcasing the uphill battle they face.

Form guide:

India's unbeaten home record, SAFF Championship, and Intercontinental Cup victories demonstrate their current form. Qatar, on the other hand, had a mixed run in 2023, reaching the Gulf Cup semis and CONCACAF Gold Cup quarters but suffering defeats in friendlies.

Key Players:

For Qatar:

1. Almoez Ali:

- The Sudan-born striker scored four goals against Afghanistan.

- Total of 46 goals in 90 appearances for Qatar.

- Known for swift movement, outpacing defenders, and precise finishing.

2. Hassan Al-Haydos:

- Most-capped player in the Qatar squad.

- Pivotal figure with 32 goals and 16 assists for the national team.

- A creative playmaker capable of scoring goals and providing assists.

3. Akram Afif (Left Winger):

- Noteworthy 18 goal contributions – 9 goals and 9 assists in 11 games.

For India:

1. Sunil Chhetri:

- India's iconic forward.

- A key figure in the team's offensive strategy.

- 93 goals for India

2. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu:

- Exceptional goalkeeper known for crucial saves.

- A stalwart in the Indian defensive setup.

3. Apuia:

- Midfield maestro adding balance to the team's play.

Live stream info:

Match: India vs Qatar

Date: November 21, 2023

Time: 7:00 PM Indian Standard Time

Venue: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar

Live Stream: Sports 18, Jio Cinema

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