India is playing Asian Champions Qatar in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifiers at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha. The Blue Tigers are almost out of contention for a top-two finish in its group, but a third-place finish is still possible with a positive result in this match which will assure them a direct place in the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers in China.
India had earlier drawn with Qatar 0-0 in the previous leg of the fixture in September 2019, and will look to take inspiration from that valiant show of grit as they face the same foes once again. However, Igor Stimac’s India suffered a major setback to their hopes of pulling off another charismatic result when Abdulaziz Hatem gave Qatar the lead just after the half-hour mark. Felix Sanchez’s team lead 1-0 at the half time.
Abdulaziz Hatem has given Qatar the lead after Rahul Bheke was given marching orders for his handball
Qatar dominated possession from the beginning but failed to open their accounts as the Indians defended critically in front of their goal.
Qatar seemed to threaten the Blues goal as they raided frequently with Stimac’s men failing to control possession throughout the length of the first half. India had very little chances at the opposite end, with the Qatari defenders mopping up everything that came their way.
India suffered an early blow when defender Rahul Bheke was given marching orders by the match referee, as he was shown a second yellow card at the 17th minute for handling a stray ball in his own half. Bheke’s name was earlier recorded into the official’s books when he undertook a late challenge on Bassam Hisham Alrawi from behind in the 10th minute.
India fell behind at the 34th minute when Abdulaziz Hatem received the ball deep in the Indian box and fired a low shot from between three Indian defenders which eventually hit by Gurpreet Singh’s leg before turning into the net as India agonizingly fell behind even after putting up a good fight after falling behind in numbers.
The match is now well in Qatar’s hands as they continued to overpower the Indians going into the half time break. India will now look end this match with a similar scorecard as they will try to concede no more.