EXPLAINED: Can India Still Qualify For FIFA World Cup 2026 After Loss In Qualifiers Against Qatar? Sunil Chhetri in action against Qatar.

India dished out a gritty display but suffered a 0-3 drubbing against dominant Asian champions Qatar in their second match of the 2026 FIFA World Cup second round qualifiers on Tuesday. Qatar would have won by a bigger margin had they not missed several chances while dominating throughout the 90 minutes at the Kalinga Stadium. The visiting side scored through Moustafa Tarek Mashal (4th minute), Almeoz Ali (47th) and Yusuf Adurisag (86th).

“It’s a game, where there is nothing to lose for us but a lot to win for. So let’s go for it all out,” said Stimac at the pre-match press conference. “We cannot control the external factors. We can only control our performances at the individual level and as a team. The only thing for us to do is to give our best for 90 minutes when the first whistle sounds,” Igor Stimac said before the game. (WATCH: All 3 Goals Qatar Scored Vs India In FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers Match)

A brave fight from the #BlueTigers in Bhubaneswar wasn’t enough to get a result against the Asian champions.#INDQAT  #FIFAWorldCup  #IndianFootball  pic.twitter.com/EE3uOVNlKc
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 21, 2023

It has done a little bit of damage to their hopes of qualifying but surely India can still feature in the World Cup as the Qualifiers are a long way to be finished at the moment.

Positive wins against in the remaining matches can hand them the second spot in the Group A which will allow them to join the third round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in 2024 competing against the winner of other group and runners-up.

Group A consist of all four teams and are playing a double round robin format from November 2023 to June 2024. To advance to the third round and guarantee their place in the 2027 AFC Asian Cup, India must place in the top two of the group.

India advances straight to the FIFA World Cup in 2026 if it wins its fourth-round group. India’s journey comes to an end if they are eliminated in the fourth round. But a second-place result would get them through to the next round so keep your fingers crossed Indian football fans!

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