Pakyong, November 20 : Following a crucial triumph against Kuwait in the inaugural match, the Indian men’s football squad is gearing up for their most significant challenge of 2023—a home face-off against Qatar in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers set for Tuesday, November 21.
The World Cup Qualifiers make a return to India as the Blue Tigers clash with the Asian champions at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium for the second match of Round 2 Group A. Qatar, currently occupying the 61st spot in the men’s FIFA team standings, dominated Afghanistan with an 8-1 victory in their opening encounter, establishing themselves as clear favorites against India.
Under the guidance of Igor Stimac, the team has experienced a mix of outcomes in 2023 but has maintained an undefeated record on home turf. A solitary goal from Mohun Bagan’s forward, Manvir Singh, secured three crucial points for India against Kuwait. The backing of the home crowd is anticipated to provide an additional boost to India’s morale as they prepare for their most pivotal group stage match. Notably, India managed to hold Qatar to a 0-0 draw during the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 2019, fostering hopes of earning points on Tuesday to fortify their position in Group A.
The much-anticipated clash between India and Qatar in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers is scheduled to unfold at Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium, promising a high-intensity encounter. The kick-off is set for 7 PM IST on Tuesday, November 21, with live coverage available on TV channels Sports 18, Sports18 1, and Sports18 3. Fans can also catch the action through online streaming on the JioCinema application and website, where all of India’s FIFA World Cup qualifier games are accessible for free.
India Squad for World Cup Qualifiers:
Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith.
Defenders: Sandesh Jhingan, Mehtab Singh, Lalchungnunga, Rahul Bheke, Nikhil Poojary, Akash Mishra, Roshan Singh Naorem, Subhasish Bose.
Midfielders: Suresh Singh Wangjam, Anirudh Thapa, Lalengmawia Apuia, Brandon Fernandes, Rohit Kumar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Liston Colaco, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Udanta Singh.
Forwards: Sunil Chhetri, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Manvir Singh, Ishan Pandita, Rahul KP.
India Predicted Squad XI : Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Nikhil Poojary, Sandesh Jhingan, Rahul Bheke, Akash Mishra, Apuia, Anirudh Thapa, Sahal Abdul Samad, Naorem Mahesh Singh, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri.