Qatar’s Victory over India Due to the Controversial Decision by the Referee in FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier

Qatar emerges victorious over India 2-1 due to a controversial decision by the referee in FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier.

The shocking incapacity of South Korean match referees to recognize that the ball had gone out completely earned Qatar an equalizer before Ahmed Alrawi’s game-winning shot through India. It appeared as though India would be the second team to advance from Group A until the 73rd minute. In the 37th minute, Lallianzuala Chhangte gave India the lead, setting them up for an uncommon victory in this FIFA World Cup qualifying match on the road.

Qatar's Victory over India Due to the Controversial Decision by the Referee in FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier
Photo Credit: Firstpost

That was a disaster, but India wasn’t to blame. Jeakson Singh, who played a strong defense throughout the game, gave up a free kick, but by the time Alhashmi Mohialdin brought it back, Youssef Aymen had already scored. India objected, but the goal remained since there was no VAR.

Minutes before Kuwait launched an attack against Afghanistan, Alrawi hit a long-range curler, indicating India would now need to triumph. India and Afghanistan finished on five points, and Kuwait was added to Qatar’s third-round roster. Qatar went on to win 2-1 that evening. The thing that kills you is hope.

When you oppose Qatar, you usually lose. India was aware of that. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, the captain of India, made a quick stop to deny Alhashmi Mohialdin in the air, and he went on to play well in the next games. Mehtab Singh stopped Alrawi’s penalty kick in the twelfth minute, despite the India central defense being unbalanced.

In order to maintain a score of 0-0 in 2019, Sandhu had to stand tall both literally and figuratively, making 11 saves. The planet and the concept of home-and-away planet Cup qualifiers were destroyed by COVID-19 when the teams reconnected in Doha in 2021. Sandhu made nine saves as India lost 0-1 after playing for 75 minutes with 10 after Rahul Bheke’s red card.

That was the only goal India have given up in the two-time Asian champions’ lair before to Tuesday. That’s the exact positive news that can inspire a group to take unexpected action. Another was that Qatar, who are ranked 87 places higher than India in FIFA, had a young team playing. The overall number of games for the starting 11 was slightly higher than Sandhu’s 73, with only three players having 20 caps or more.

The final third’s lack of flow was the sobering part. Open play was the last time India scored, on November 16, 2023. And only once in the next six games, in Guwahati last March against Afghanistan, thanks to a penalty kick by Sunil Chhetri. India scored 21 goals in 16 games in 2023. Nine had been scored by Chhetri. India has been dependent on him in this way.

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With three goals apiece, Chhangte and Naorem Mahesh had the most last year, behind Chhetri. Chhangte has been able to put up figures strong enough to imply that he might be a deserving replacement for Chhetri for the past two seasons. ISL teams are aware of his ability to make darting runs into the area; after seeing how Chhangte destroyed FC Goa in the first leg of this season’s semi-final, Jay Gupta and Brandon Fernandes would have nightmares.

Gupta and Fernandes worked together in Doha to locate Chhangte, who was assigned a central role. Fernandes recognized a gap where a run could be made to meet the ball after Gupta’s throw-in. With a defender on his shoulder, Chhangte stabbed home. Moments before, Chhangte had let go of the ball after Manvir Singh had taken it and his shot had bounced off goalie Shehab Ellethy, but this time, Chhangte was unstoppable. Rahim Ali’s pass slipped across the goal’s face amid an era of India’s dominance, setting up the goal.

Two hours after the India-Qatar match, Stimac had talked about the Kuwait-Afghanistan match. It was precisely two weeks ago on Tuesday that marked the 42nd anniversary of the “Disgrace of Gijon,” in which Austria and West Germany conspired to disqualify Algeria from the 1982 World Cup. It was hard to imagine that two hours after India-Qatar kicked off, after all these years, when last-round games in leagues and international championships usually start at the same time. or as Stimac put it during Monday’s news conference prior to the game, “surprised.”

With both games beginning simultaneously, it would have seemed like India was introducing themselves before play began. It appeared as though India would score three at Jassim bin Hamad Stadium for the majority of the evening. After more than two decades, India had almost won two World Cup qualifiers on the road. Rather, the conclusion would have evoked memories of the heartbreaking loss versus Bahrain during the 2019 Asian Cup finals. Or even worse, as India wasn’t robbed that evening.

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