Indian Men's Football

Indian Men’s Football Team?s World Cup Dream Ends With Controversial Goal | Best Team In 2024

Indian Men’s Football

After their demoralising draw against Kuwait and Sunil Chhetri’s departure, India looked for an unlikely win against Qatar in Doha – however Igor Stimac’s side were overcome by an controversial goal from Asian champions Qatar.

After Lallianzuala Chhangte gave India the lead, Youssef Aymen equalised with an 83rd minute goal from Youssef Aymen.

Indian Men’s Football | Goals from Lallianzuala Chhangte and Youssef Ayman Farahat

India were on the cusp of victory in their inaugural match following Sunil Chhetri?s retirement but were undone by an unfortunate incident during which Mehtab Singh made a first-time save off Yousef Aymen?s first-time shot from Qatar; subsequent referee decisions determined that Aymen?s 73rd minute equaliser was fair despite India protestations that play had long since passed by and could no longer affect proceedings.Indian Men’s Football

After an ineffective start to their match, India eventually found their stride in the second half. Brandon Fernandes created space for Lallianzuala Chhangte to open scoring with an excellently weighted through ball from Brandon Fernandes; unfortunately he couldn’t complete his goal as Manvir Singh’s low cross wasn’t connected at the back post.Indian Men’s Football

Mehtab Singh and other Indian defensive stalwarts remained firm throughout, although Qatar proved too strong a challenge and eventually scored in the 85th minute to end Indian hopes of progressing further into the tournament.Indian Men’s Football

Indian Men's Football

Indian Men’s Football | Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu?s heroics

Football goal scorers usually grab all of the spotlight; stars like Messi, Ronaldo and Mbappe quickly became stars thanks to their goals. Yet those defending between the posts, keeping opponents out and keeping their team competitive in every matchup don’t always receive sufficient recognition.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, one Indian goalkeeper is quickly making a name for himself as an inspiring hero of the game. At 199 cm and with experience at East Bengal (I-League) and Stabaek (Norway), he has proven reliable between the posts for India Men’s National Football Team.

In India’s match against Qatar, he once again distinguished himself and kept them in contention by making some fantastic saves to keep the Indian defense at bay and keep any goals from scoring until the very last second.

After taking an early lead through Lallianzuala Chhangte’s strike in the 37th minute, India looked set for a memorable win against Asian champions Qatar. Unfortunately for them though, Qatar rallied and scored with Youssef Aymen’s header in the 73rd minute that was controversial as Mohialdin flicked it back into play for Aymen to head it in and India protested this decision without success.Indian Men’s Football

Indian Men’s Football | Ayman Al-Rawi?s late goal

India were denied an historic third-round qualification berth in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers due to an infamous goal scored in the final 15 minutes by Qatar in the 73rd minute, after taking an initial lead through Lallianzuala Chhangte in 37th minute. Qatar denied their chances at glory by scoring another controversial goal late in regulation time which cost India their chance for glory and secured third round qualification instead.Indian Men’s Football

Controversy ensued over a free-kick from the right side of the penalty box, with Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu clearing what appeared to be out-of-play ball only for Alhashmi Mohialdin to backheel it to Youssef Aymen who put it into goal. Indian players protested, yet South Korean referee Kim Woo-Sung stood by his decision.Indian Men’s Football

At that moment, Qatar stole control of the match with a crucial turning point that saw their momentum shift in their favour and Ahmed Al-Rawi score the winner in the 85th minute. Though India were denied victory by this result, they can take some consolation in knowing they showed some promise under Igor Stimac in their debut match together.Indian Men’s Football

India witnessed its inaugural use of VAR during an official game, sparking outrage on social media from many. Many took to criticising the referee and his decision, as well as calling for better officiating standards and technological support to assist refereeing.

Indian Men's Football

Indian Men’s Football | Qatar?s controversial goal

Qatar scored a controversial goal in the 73rd minute to deny India a chance at qualification for round two of World Cup Qualifier. Goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu had saved Youssef Aymen’s header but the ball rolled off his legs out of play; neither referee or linesman blew their whistles however and Aymen put in an equalizing goal, prompting protest from Indian players but their decision stood.

Kalyan Chaubey of AIFF expressed his displeasure with refereeing calls and issued a statement detailing this indignation. While he acknowledged that victory and defeat are integral parts of football, his assessment was that Qatar’s incident wasn’t fair and called for a comprehensive investigation to take place into this incident.

Stimac was disappointed with the outcome of the match and applauded his team’s resilience, adding that they were fortunate to have such a capable referee as otherwise they may have suffered more.

Indian fans were incensed at the referee’s decision, taking to social media platforms to vent their outrage at his decision and criticize it. If India want to compete in 2026 World Cup qualifiers they will now need to play Bahrain or Afghanistan to qualify for round three and qualify as third round qualifiers.

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