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regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 July 2024

Fifa World Cup Qualifiers: India bow out after Qatar ride on a controversial goal to emerge 2-1 winners

India were ahead thanks to Lallianzuala Chhangte’s 37th-minute strike but disaster struck when the referee adjudged Yousef Aymen’s goal as fair

PTI Doha Published 12.06.24, 10:28 AM
Ahmed Al-Rawi (No. 10) celebrates scoring Qatar’s winner with Abdullah Al Yazidi in the World Cup qualifier against India at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday

Ahmed Al-Rawi (No. 10) celebrates scoring Qatar’s winner with Abdullah Al Yazidi in the World Cup qualifier against India at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday Reuters

Poor refereeing robbed India of a chance to secure a historic entry into the third round of the Fifa World Cup Qualifiers as fancied Qatar rode on a controversial goal to emerge 2-1 winners here on Tuesday.

India were ahead thanks to Lallianzuala Chhangte’s 37th-minute strike but disaster struck when the referee adjudged Yousef Aymen’s goal as fair after the ball appeared to have gone out of play.

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The hugely controversial decision disturbed India’s momentum as Asian champions Qatar scored their second through Ahmed Al-Rawi in the 85th minute.

Playing barely five days after the international retirement of Sunil Chhetri, not many gave the beleaguered 121-ranked side a chance, but Igor Stimac’s wards looked on course after Chhangte’s strike.

Chhangte struck the ball accurately into the bottom corner after a diagonal pass from Brandon Fernandes.

It was a redemption of sorts for Chhangte as he found the back of the net after failing to convert two chances created by Brandon.

Before Chhangte struck, Manvir Singh had a great chance to put India ahead but failed to finish the task.

This was after Qatar failed to draw first blood, thanks to a brilliant save by Mehtab Singh, who cleared the ball from crossing the line.

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