Wednesday, November 29, 2023

AFC World Cup Qualifiers: High spirited India will be taking on the Asian giants Qatar, to go top of the table – N.F Times

New Delhi: The Indian football team, a.k.a., the Blue Tigers, is enjoying an extraordinary run in the year 2023, as they first went on to win two back-to-back international trophies, and if that was not enough, they are now also looking strong to make it out of the round 2 of the AFC World Cup qualifiers and keep their hopes of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup 2026 alive.

However, despite registering a win against Kuwait and having momentum on their side, the blue Tigers will still be having a tough time on Tuesday, November 21, when they will go up against the Asian football giants Qatar, in their second match of AFC World Cup qualifiers round 2.

India and Qatar, both teams, have 3 points from 1 match, after defeating Kuwait and Afghanistan, respectively, in their first match, which means, whoever wins on Tuesday will gain a huge advantage in their group standings.

India, who are currently at the 102nd spot in the latest FIFA rankings, will be at a psychological disadvantage against their opponents on Tuesday, who are ranked 61 in the latest FIFA ranking.

Both teams will be trying to win this match, as it will give them much-needed momentum going into the AFC Asian Cup 2024, starting January 12, 2024.

Remembering the 2019 heroics

However, the Qatar side is way too big of a challenge for the Blue Tigers if we take the last few years of both teams into consideration. However, the blue tigers have, from time to time, proved that they are capable of climbing any mountain they want if they can get a good start.

One such incident took place in 2019, when these two sides came face-to-face, where going against all odds, the Indian team stopped the Qatar side to a 0-0 draw.

Interestingly, they didn’t even have the services of their biggest star, Sunil Chhetri, in that match, and with the Indian captain all fit and running this time, the Blue Tigers will leave no stone unturned to pull off yet another upset against Qatar on Tuesday night.

Journey so far

Both India and Qatar are drawn into the same group for the second consecutive time for round 2 of the AFC World Cup qualifiers, as they shared the same group for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Qatar finished at the top of the group last, while the Indian team was eliminated after finishing third in their group.

This time around, both the teams have started off with a win as India defeated Kuwait by 1-0, while Qatar thrashed Afghanistan 8-1. As both the teams have 3 points, they will be eager to add 3 more to get closer to the round three qualification.

When and where to watch

The India vs Qatar match will kick off at 07:00 p.m. IST and will be played at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar.

The match will be telecasted live on Sports 18 1, Sports 18 1HD and Sports 18 3, while the live streaming of the match will be done through the Jio Cinema app and website for free.

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