Asian Cup Champions Qatar handed hosts India a thumping 3-0 defeat in what was the latter’s second match of the Joint Qualification campaign for FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup Saudi Arabia 2027 at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar.
Qatar's Moustafa Mashal (4'), Almoez Ali (46'), and Yusuf Abdurisag (85') scored three goals apiece whereas the Blue Tigers missed two easy opportunities through Anirudh Thapa and substitute Sahal Abdul Samad.
It didn't take the visitors long to seize the initiative. With Akram Afif all over India, the Indian defense mishandled his right-hand corner. Moustafa Mashal curled a right footed shot into the net.
Amrinder avoided the humiliation of giving up a goal due to a misdirected pass in the 19th minute thanks to a timely block by Sandesh Jhingan. Three minutes later, Mansour's brilliant backheel in the midfield released Afif for a solo run down the left, but Amrinder was more than capable of finishing the job. His shot was blocked by Amrinder just outside the goalmouth.
Blooper From Thapa
With Boualem Khoukhi giving up the ball just outside the box due to consistent pressure from Indian captain Sunil Chhetri, Anirudh Thapa had a real chance to score in the 42nd minute. He put on a strong performance for Thapa, but even though he beat Qatari custodian Meshaal Barsham, his shot still missed the post.
Almoez Doubled The Lead
India could have hoped for better performance in the second half after those thrilling final minutes. However, Afif dashed those hopes when he teamed up with Mashal as inside India's box, on the left, his cross found Afif free.
Although Amrinder made an attempt to block his tap, he was unable to fully control the ball. With a move through the middle, Almoez Ali scored a goal to make it 2-0.
Yusuf's Winning Goal
From that moment on, things only got worse for India. A move in the 65th minute was the only bright spot - after a brilliant turn in the midfield, Suresh Singh found Sahal Abdul Samad free on the left. Although he had just the goalkeeper to beat when he ran into the Qatar box, his shot missed the second post by a wide margin.
Five minutes from the end, Yusuf Abdurisag, a replacement, headed in for Qatar to take a 3-0 lead.
Despite Stimac making five changes to the starting lineup from the first game, which saw Kuwait suffer a defeat, the visitors managed to steal all three points in their away game. On Tuesday, Amrinder Singh—who took Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's spot in goal—did not look good.