When Manvir Singh scored the winning goal, there was an outpouring of joy from the Indian contingent, with thousands of fans waving the tricolour at the Jaber al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait. Five days later, India will face Asian Champion Qatar at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Qatar comes into the game after defeating Afghanistan 8-1 in their opening fixture in the second round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 AFC qualifiers.
India will be without three key players due to injuries, while Qatar will be full of confidence after their recent win. However, they will need to be cautious not to underestimate their lower-ranked opponent, as India only conceded one goal in their previous match against Qatar, despite being down to 10 men for most of the game.
For head coach Carlos Queiroz, this match will be an opportunity to prove himself and change the narrative around the team’s performance. He will feel the pressure to make a positive impact, similar to what he achieved with Iran.
The match against India will test Qatar’s ability to defend against attacking players like Chhetri and Chhangte, who will be supported by Sahal Abdul Samad and Naorem Mahesh Singh. This game will be a significant test for both teams as they aim to secure a spot in the FIFA World Cup.