India will face Qatar in their 2026 FIFA World Cup round 2 qualifiers match in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. The IND vs QAT match at the Kalinga Stadium will start at 7 pm IST.
Their confidence boosted after the 1-0 away win against Kuwait on November 16, India will hope to give a tough fight to Qatar, although the fancied visiting side will start as firm favourites.
Manvir Singh scored with a left-footed shot in the 75th minute as he connected a Lallianzuala Chhangte cross to help India win the match at the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait.
Kuwait ended the match with 10 men as their player Faisal Alharbi was sent off after picking his second yellow card in the third minute of added time for a high boot challenge on Chhangte.
India are placed in Group A alongside Qatar, Kuwait and Afghanistan with the top two from the group progressing to the third round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The top two teams from each group will also secure qualification for the 2027 AFC Asian Cup. The Blue Tigers have never advanced to the third round of AFC’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
Ranked 61 in the world, Qatar are coming off an 8-1 thrashing of Afghanistan in their earlier match in Doha on November 16.
Star striker Almoez Ali, who struck four times against Afghanistan the other day and was the top-scorer for Qatar at the 2019 Asian Cup with nine goals, would be the man to watch out for as he can create trouble at the Indian defense, which looked weak in the absence of Anwar Ali.
Head coach Igor Stimac on Monday said that India have nothing to lose but a hell of a lot to gain in their match against Qatar.
“The Kuwait game was the most important game in our qualifiers in this group. We had an away win against our direct opponent for the second spot,” Stimac said at the pre-match press conference.
“We are very realistic, we know that Qatar is out of our league. But we also know that this is football, the most beautiful game in the world which provides opportunities and this is our opportunity.”
Stimac urged his players to consider Tuesday’s match at the Kalinga Stadium as any other game and give their best. “It’s a game like any other, that is what my players need to accept and prepare for. What we can do is give our best,” he said.
The India vs Qatar 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match will be broadcast live on Sports18 channel in India.
JioCinema will live stream the India vs Qatar 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier match on its app and website.