World Cup qualifiers highlights: India, Afghanistan play out 1-1 draw

FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifiers highlights: Here are the commentary updates from the joint qualification outing between India and Afghanistan in Doha on Tuesday.

The Indian football team took on Afghanistan in the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

This is Sportstar's match blog of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualification encounter between India and Afghanistan.

That's it for today. Thanks for tuning in!

MATCH REPORT | Indian football team progresses to third round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers after Afghanistan draw

India (seven points from eight games) finishes third in Group E of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023 joint qualifiers and reaches the third round of Asian Cup qualification, which will begin in November this year. Afghanistan finishes fourth just above Bangladesh, while Qatar and Oman are the top two teams.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS:

AND IT'S FULL-TIME! FINAL SCORE: INDIA 1 - 1 AFGHANISTAN!!!

90+4' India gets a chance for a final counter-attack after an Afghanistan free-kick. India has numbers forward and wins a corner. But the referee blows the final whistle before the Indians could take the set-piece.

90' FOUR MINUTES OF STOPPAGE TIME HAS BEEN ADDED ON AT THE END OF THE SECOND HALF! Gurpreet Singh makes a straightforward save during an Afghanistan free-kick.

86' SUBSTITUTIONS! Norlla Amiri replaces Omid Popalzay for Afghanistan on the field, while the injured Ashique Kuruniyan made way for Bipin Singh a few minutes earlier.

82' GOOOOOAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!!! HOSSEIN ZAMANI SCORESSSS!!! AFGHANISTAN 1 - 1 INDIA!!!!!! Noor Husin dribbles past a couple of Indian defenders and gets to the edge of the box. He eventually sets up the super-sub Zamani, who creates an instant impact with a delightful finish.

78' CHANGE! This will be a second substitution for Afghanistan. Boss Anoush Dastgir brings on Hossein Zamani to replace Adam Najem in the middle. Ashique Kuruniyan has been for India so far.

75' GOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!!!! OVAYS AZIZI SCORES AN OWN GOAL!!! INDIA 1 - 0 AFGHANISTAN!!!!! Ashique Kuruniyan sends in a cross from the left flank. Afghanistan goalkeeper Ovays Azizi had an easy job. But instead of a straightforward collection, he pushes the ball into goal.

72' SUBSTITUTION! This will be the second Indian substitution. Sunil Chhetri makes way for Liston Colaco on the field. Coach Igor Stimac had a long chat with Colaco before sending him in.

69' FREE-KICK FOR INDIA! Captain Sunil Chhetri will take this one. He tests Afghanistan goalkeeper Ovays Azizi with a brilliant shot from the left wing, which misses the target by a whisker.

66' CHANCE FOR AFGHANISTAN! Omid Popalzay gets past Indian defender Subhasish Bose with ease and tries to release the ball towards goal. But he loses his composure and fires his shot well over the crossbar.

63' SUBSTITUTION FOR INDIA! Manager Igor Stimac makes his first change of the match. He decides to bring on Lalengmawia to replace Brandon Fernandes on the field.

60' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE SECOND-HALF COOLING BREAK!

57' LONG BALL! Noor Husin tries to find his Afghanistan teammate Amir Sharifi with a brilliant long pass. But the latter isn't able to control the ball properly. Omid Popalzay takes a shot off the rebound but fires it wide.

54' CORNER FOR INDIA! Brandon Fernandes sends a cross towards the edge of the box. However, an onrushing Glan Martins isn't able to get to the ball as Afghanistan initiates a counter-attack.

51' Both teams have had chances to break the deadlock early on in the second half. But the end product just isn't there. Coaches Igor Stimac and Anoush Dastgir have been extremely animated on the sidelines.

48' INDIAN COUNTER-ATTACK! Ashique Kuruniyan gets the ball in the middle of the park and sprints forward with it. However, the Afghan defence is alert as Ashique loses possesion. A glorious chance wasted.

THE SECOND HALF IS UNDERWAY!

Forty-five minutes to go. Stay tuned!

REMINDER: India needs just a draw today to reach the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

AND IT'S HALF-TIME! SCORE: INDIA 0 - 0 AFGHANISTAN!!!

45' ONE MINUTE OF STOPPAGE TIME HAS BEEN ADDED ON AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF! India initiates a counter-attack and Suresh Wangjam tests the Afghanistan goalkeeper with a decent shot.

42' Apart from the one shot on target, Sunil Chhetri has been struggling to create an impact in the Afghan box. The Indian captain needs to step up because the opposition has the possessional advantage now.

39' FREE-KICK FOR AFGHANISTAN! Omid Popalzay is on set-piece duty on the left flank. He sends a cross into the box but it doesn't reach any of his teammates. India's Sandesh Jhingan is injured during the clearance.

36' Afghanistan has upped its tempo after the water break. Head coach Anoush Dastgir would be extremely happy on seeing his team's attacking intent here. On the other hand, India needs to be cautious now.

33' SUBSTITUTION! Noor hands the skipper's armband to Faysal Shayesteh and leaves the field. Substitute Adam Najem replaces him in the middle as India wastes yet another Brandon Fernandes corner.

30' INJURY! Afghanistan captain Farshad Noor collides with India's Glan Martins and goes down to the ground. He is being treated by the Afghan medical staff. A few moments later, India wins a set-piece.

27' AND IT'S TIME FOR THE FIRST-HALF COOLING BREAK!

24' ANOTHER CORNER FOR INDIA! Brandon Fernandes will take this one as well. He sends a swinging cross into the box. Rahul Bheke gets to the ball and comes up with a header. But the shot is blocked.

21' Afghanistan is kind of struggling to create clear-cut chances here. The Indian defence has done well in dispossessing its opponent regularly. The full-backs have been the best players on the pitch.

18' YELLOW CARD! The first booking of the game doesn't go to a player. It is for India's head coach Igor Stimac for arguing a lot on the sidelines. He even through his ID card on the ground.

15' FOUL! India's Rahul Bheke brings down Afghanistan's Noor Husin with a mistimed challenge. The referee doesn't award him a card as the Afghans get a free-kick.

12' HANDBALL CLAIMS FROM INDIA! Brandon Fernandes takes another set-piece. As Afghanistan tries to clear the ball, it hits the arms of Faysal Shayesteh. But the referee deems it unintentional and play continues.

9' The Afghan defenders are constantly intercepting Manvir Singh's through-ball attempts to his captain Sunil Chhetri. India wins a second corner in the process but Sandesh Jhingan's header is saved by Ovays Azizi.

6' CHANCE FOR AFGHANISTAN! Skipper Farshad Noor receives a decent pass at the edge of the box and takes a shot on target. But Chinglensana Singh comes up with the crucial block as India regains possession.

3' EARLY PRESSURE FROM INDIA! Manvir Singh won a corner after a good move up front. Brandon Fernandes took it. However, the Afghanistan defence was alert and the ball was cleared away.

AND THE MATCH BEGINS!

ALSO READ | India needs to sustain momentum against Afghanistan, says Manvir Singh

The team lineups are out!

INDIA XI: Gurpreet Singh (G), Rahul Bheke, Chinglensana Singh, Sandesh Jhingan, Subhasish Bose, Glan Martins, Suresh Wangjam, Brandon Fernandes, Ashique Kuruniyan, Manvir Singh, Sunil Chhetri (C).

COACH - Igor Stimac.

AFGHANISTAN XI: Ovays Azizi (G), Masih Saighani, David Najem, Haroon Amiri, Noor Husin, Farshad Noor (C), Faysal Shayesteh, Milad Intezar, Amir Sharifi, Omid Popalzay, Mohammad Sharif.

COACH - Anoush Dastgir.

MATCH PREVIEW:

Sunil Chhetri will look to add to his tally to enter the all-time top 10 scorers' list when India meets Afghanistan in the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.

The Indian team needs just a draw from this final game to secure a place in the third round of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers, after Oman defeated Afghanistan 2-1 on Friday. A hat-trick for Chhetri, the team's captain, will see him equal the iconic Pele in terms of the numbers of goals scored in international football.

Chhetri is also just one goal off entering the all-time top-10 list of goal-scorers.

India ended its winless run when Chhetri struck a brace against Bangladesh in its previous outing. The talk since then mostly centered around the Indian talisman surpassing the legendary Lionel Messi as football's second-highest scorer (in internationals) among active players.

If the Blue Tigers can avoid defeat in the upcoming match, they will finish third in their group, an improvement over the fifth-place result during the last campaign.

India is already out of contention from progressing further in the World Cup qualifying campaign, and is now looking to secure a berth in the 2023 Asian Cup, scheduled to be held in China. India will enter the game as clear favourite despite Afghanistan's ability to fight it out.

Igor Stimac's men will be high on confidence after thoroughly dominating Bangladesh, against which they enjoyed nearly 75 percent possession besides completing more than 600 passes.

If they are to be that impressive, the Indians will need the duo of Chhetri and Manvir Singh to fire upfront, with Brandon Fernandes marshalling the midfield and keeping the supply chain flowing.

RELATED | Chhetri dismisses Messi comparison

With Stimac reposing immense faith in him, Brandon has established himself as one of the country's top players playmakers. He has provided three assists out of five goals India has scored in the qualifying campaign so far, and he would be more than eager to continue in the same vein.

Form and record both favour India and anything less than a victory for the Blue Tigers will be seen as an upset.

As far as Afghanistan are concerned, it will take heart from its spirited performance in its previous outing against India, in 2019, when it held its opponent to a goalless draw.

The recent defeat against Oman means Afghanistan is not among the top fourth-placed teams in the World Cup qualifiers and a failure to win against India would send it to the playoffs just to get into the third round of Asian Cup qualifiers.

Match starts at 7:30PM IST.

Where can you watch the match?

The match will be broadcasted on the Star Network. Watch India vs Qatar on Star Sports 2 and HD 2. The match will also be live streamed on Disney+Hotstar.