India vs Afghanistan Highlights, FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers: Sunil Chhetri scores but India loses 1-2, followed by ‘Stimac Out’ chants

IND vs AFG: Enjoy the highlights of the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier between India and Afghanistan, being played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.

Updated : Mar 26, 2024 22:10 IST

Sunil Chhetri scores the opening goal for India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.
Sunil Chhetri scores the opening goal for India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.

Sunil Chhetri scores the opening goal for India in the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam.

Welcome to Sportstar’s highlights of the FIFA World Cup qualifier between India and Afghanistan, which was played at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati, Assam. This was Neeladri Bhattacharjee taking you through minute-by-minute update of this crucial clash.

  • March 26, 2024 22:09
    Match Report

    Sunil Chhetri goal in vain as India slumps to a 1-2 loss to Afghanistan in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

    What was a potential six-pointer for India finished with just one point in two games, including a 1-2 at home at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday.

  • March 26, 2024 21:54
    Stimac out chants in Guwahati!
  • March 26, 2024 20:59
    Full Time! India 1-2 Afghanistan

    Two second half goals by Afghanistan saw the visiting side complete its comeback in style to stun the home crowd, registering a 2-1 win against India.

  • March 26, 2024 20:57

    Vikram Partap now gets into the book after his elbow catches Hanifi during an aerial challenge. Though the Indian gets the ball, the foul has his name added into the book.

  • March 26, 2024 20:55

    Faces of Indian fans and players look down and out, with only a few minutes left in this clash. Over two games, India has failed to beat Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, if the score remains like this.

  • March 26, 2024 20:54

    India tries to make a final push with a set-piece but the it ends with the Afghan goalkeeper, Azizi, on the ground.

  • March 26, 2024 20:52

    Afghanistan, riding on the late penalty strike, is brimming with confidence and India is left chasing shadows. While the first quarter had India dominated possession. The scenario has reversed in the match now.

  • March 26, 2024 20:48
    88’ Goal! Afghanistan is ahead!

    Sharif Mukhammad steps up to take the penalty and rattles the net to give Afghanistan the lead for the first time in this game. And just like a fistful of dust, the hopes of a win here looks to be slipping out of India’s hands.

  • March 26, 2024 20:48

    Gurpreet tries to stop Afghanistan’s forward in the box and ends up conceding a spot kick and a yellow card.

  • March 26, 2024 20:47

    India tries to attack through crosses as Subhasish carries the ball along the left, crosses to the centre. Afghanistan’s captain Amiri heads the ball out and Apuia tries a shot on the follow-up, which flies over the net.

  • March 26, 2024 20:45

    India is resorting to slow build-up to find solutions. Meanwhile, Vikram Partap Singh comes on for Jeakson Singh as Stimac shifts gears for the final six minutes of regulation time.

  • March 26, 2024 20:42

    Mahesh gets the ball along the right flank, decided to cut back. Chhangte gets his foot to it, which is blocked and then an attempt on the follow-up is cleared by Afghanistan.

  • March 26, 2024 20:40

    Afghanistan trying to exploit the wings, with both starting full-backs stull on the field for India. Meanwhile, Chhangte tries to attack on the counter, beats a marker but fails to get the better of the other to lose possession ultimately.

  • March 26, 2024 20:38

    Apuia gets the ball along the right flank, and tries to cross it for Manvir, which is intercepted well. Afghanistan, attacks on the counter and Ahadi tries to shoot only to be see Bheke see the danger out.

  • March 26, 2024 20:36
    76’ Good save by Gurpreet!

    India will be cautious to just ball-watch as Afghanistan arches into the final third. Skandari gets the ball in the midfield and shoots to force Gurpreet make a reflex save.

  • March 26, 2024 20:34

    India looks rattled by the equaliser and seems to try everything, starting with sideways passing to find a way into the final third. Thapa gets the ball in the midfield but his through ball is too far away from Manvir Singh.

  • March 26, 2024 20:30
    70’ Afghanistan equalises!

    Afghanistan attacks on counter with three forwards in the final third. Rahmat Akbari shoots from outside the box and the ball goes through the legs of Rahul Bheke after a deflection to make it 1-1 with 20 minutes of regulation time left.

  • March 26, 2024 20:30

    Chhangte tries to make an impact right after coming on. He makes a run behind the defence but is flagged off-side.

  • March 26, 2024 20:29
    68’ Three changes for India!

    In: Anirudh Thapa, Naorem Mahesh, Lallianzuala Chhangte

    Out: Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco, Sunil Chhetri

  • March 26, 2024 20:27

    Nikhil Poojary gets into the midfield pocket, surrounded by three white shirts. He tries to win a throw-in but his attempt is curbed by Afghanistan.

  • March 26, 2024 20:26

    Afghanistan looks ready to bring fresh legs on, with Fareed Sadat all set to take the field. He will replace Omid Popalzay. An attacker for a midfielder. The message is simple for the visiting side -- more attack.

  • March 26, 2024 20:24

    India is pressing more physically, with the opponent looking very difficult to break down at the moment. And tempers, as usual, are flying with Zelfagar and Apuia exchanging looks aggressively.

  • March 26, 2024 20:22

    Meanwhile, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Naorem Mahesh Singh are warming up for India. When Apuia was down, Chhangte looked to get ready for coming on but Apuia’s return has delayed his substitution for now.

  • March 26, 2024 20:21

    Sunil Chhetri looks furious with a poor pass in the final third. The captain, who has spent nearly two decades in senior football, is continuously demanding more from his teammates.

  • March 26, 2024 20:18

    India tries to attack with long balls but Afghanistan wins the aerial battle and Apuia goes to the ground after a rash challenge by Hanifi. Apuia receives medical attention and gets back on his feet eventually.

  • March 26, 2024 20:16

    Popalzy gets the ball close to India’s box and before he could land a shot, Apuia barges in to concede a foul. Free kick for Afghanistan. Sharah takes the free-kick, which flies off-target.

  • March 26, 2024 20:15

    India gets a corner kick, which Brandon takes. As Afghanistan heads it way, Colaco tries a shot from outside the box, which flies over the net.

  • March 26, 2024 20:14

    Sharza and Skandari combine in the final third, with the latter tries to dribble past three India defenders. He goes to the ground, appealing for a foul but the referee is not interested. Meanwhile, Akbari shoots from outside the box and the ball flies off-target.

  • March 26, 2024 20:13

    India is distributing the ball across its own half, looking for narrow channels to thread balls into. Meanwhile, Jeakson gets the ball and crosses to his right for Manvir. However, he fouls Skandari to see that development end to nothing.

  • March 26, 2024 20:11

    India gets a corner and it tries a variation in the set-piece. However, Anwar Ali is spotted in an off-side position as the linesman raises the flag to stop play.

  • March 26, 2024 20:08
    48’ Anothe missed chance for India!

    India looking to absorb any early pressure by Westwood’s side and Skandari fouls Poojary in the midfield in a tussle for the ball. Meanwhile, Brandon wastes no time to get a lobbed pass for Manvir, who gets into the final third, but fails to get the better off Azizi.

  • March 26, 2024 20:07

    Afghanistan attacks in numbers with Skandari trying a shot, which is blocked and then Akbari tries a shot, which fails to cause any trouble for the host side.

  • March 26, 2024 20:06
    Second half begins!

    Brandon gets the ball rolling in the second half and gives away a free-kick quickly as Sunil Chhetri is penalised for a handball outside the box.

  • March 26, 2024 19:50
    India stays ahead at the break!

    A goal on his 150th international by Sunil Chhetri separates the two sides, India and Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see how the two sides approach the next half.

  • March 26, 2024 19:48

    Ahadi takes a free-kick for Afghanistan, which is headed on target by Sharza. However, lack of force makes it easy for Gurpreet to make a regulation save.

  • March 26, 2024 19:47

    India looks to be a bit off-pressure at the moment after the opening goal and Colaco almost scores. However, he fails to control the ball as Afghanistan dispossess him of the ball.

  • March 26, 2024 19:45

    It’s flying yellow cards in Guwahati tonight! Rahul Bheke gets into the book after Subhasish Bose. 

  • March 26, 2024 19:43

    Afghanistan tries to attack right after conceding and Mosawer Ahadi tries a shot from the right. Ahadi’s right-footed curler flies over the net, causing no trouble for Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

  • March 26, 2024 19:42

    That was the 94th goal for Sunil Chhetri and he continues to extend his record of most goals by India and remain the third-highest active goalscorer below Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

  • March 26, 2024 19:39
    37’ Goal! Sunil Chhetri scores and India is ahead

    Sunil Chhetri steps up for the spot kick and scores for India! Though Azizi had jumped on the right side, he was beaten on force as the ball rattles the net to the jubilation of the home crowd.

  • March 26, 2024 19:38

    Manvir gets the ball along the right flank and crosses for Chhetri. However, Amiri intercepts with his hand and the referee points to the spot.

  • March 26, 2024 19:37

    India trying everything to breach the final third defence. Colaco and Jeakson try and overlap this time but the ball gets stuck in a white shirt.

  • March 26, 2024 19:36

    Brandon looks to have inverted his position to confuse the opponent. He runs to his right, instead of the left flank he had been playing in so far, and crosses for Chhetri, which is intercepted by Azizi.

  • March 26, 2024 19:35

    Brandon takes the free-kick, aiming for Chhetri and Afghanistan blocks it yet again. Westwood’s side has not had enough attacking chances but it has defended very well so far against a high-pressing opponent.

  • March 26, 2024 19:33

    Mahboob Hanifi tries to stop Colaco in his tracks and ends up conceding a free-kick along the left. Another set-piece opportunity for India.

  • March 26, 2024 19:32

    Manvir gets the ball along the left flank but two players surround him to deny a cross. He passes to Poojary, whose cross is intercepted by Westwood’s boys.

  • March 26, 2024 19:31

    Poor decision making by Apuia, who gets the ball from his team’s defence and tries to progress forward. However, his aerial ball lacks direction and lands into the gloves of Azizi. 

  • March 26, 2024 19:30

    Mohun Bagan teammates combine, with Colaco turning and then passing to Subhasish on his left. He tries to cross for Manvir or Chhetri, but overshoots it to see the ball fly over the net. 

  • March 26, 2024 19:28

    India tries to attack on the counter from a blocked Afghan free-kick. Jeakson gets the ball to Subhasish on his left, who then threads a through ball for Sunil Chhetri. However, Azizi comes out to spot a darting Chhetri and kicks the ball out of danger.

  • March 26, 2024 19:27
    25’ Brandon gets a yellow card!

    Brandon takes the free-kick which is easily headed away by the Afghans. Meanwhile, the visitors start an attack with Mosawer Ahadi tries to run past India’s midfield and Brandon pulls him down to get the first booking of the game.

  • March 26, 2024 19:26

    The stadium has a number of watchful eyes, from the NorthEast United coach Juan Pedro Benali and the AIFF president Kalyan Chaubet. Meanwhile, Akbari fouls Colaco for a free-kick along the left.

  • March 26, 2024 19:24

    Taufee Skandari has the last laugh, beating Poojary again and delivering a low cross into the centre. The final shot is blocked by Anwar and Hanifi tries another shot, which flies over the net for an India goal-kick.

  • March 26, 2024 19:22

    Taufee side-steps Poojary to barge into the final third but the Indian full-back makes amends to tracks back and deny a cross. 

  • March 26, 2024 19:20

    India has stationed two centre-backs to control the counter attacks while the two full-backs are looking for overlaps to start quick attacks. As Westwood watches on, he must be aware of India’s exploits, having coached a number of clubs in India.

  • March 26, 2024 19:19

    India’s corner kick is pushed away by Azizi, but India tries another cross, which is controlled easily by the goalkeeper.

  • March 26, 2024 19:18

    Brandon takes the corner with Bheke being the target. He heads it but the ball is deflected out for another corner kick.

  • March 26, 2024 19:17

    Manvir and Apuia combine for an overlap along the right flank, with the latter receiving the ball and trying a cross. His shot is blocked for an India corner.

  • March 26, 2024 19:16

    India is taking the game to Afghanistan, pressing up the pitch and forcing back-passes by the visiting side.

  • March 26, 2024 19:15

    India starts playing one-touch football, which ends with Brandon losing control with a kick from an opponent, wherein a foul is not given.

  • March 26, 2024 19:14

    Ovays Azizi takes the goal kick for Afghanistan, which is intercepted by India as Jeakson gets the ball off a throw by Poojary. Jeakson passes to Apuia but Sharif cuts down space for the Mumbai City midfielder to deliver a forward pass.

  • March 26, 2024 19:11

    Afghanistan tries to shoot from this attempt. With India crowding the box with blue shirts, Sharza gets into space on the right and shoots to force a save by Sandhu.

  • March 26, 2024 19:10

    Afghanistan’s corner is reached well by Amri, whose header is saved by Gurpreet through a full-stretch. Ahadi takes the next corner from the other end, which goes out of play for another corner. 

  • March 26, 2024 19:09

    Bheke’s aerial ball is intercepted by Afghanistan, which attacks on the counter with Mosawer Ahadi getting a cross from the left along the right. But his cross is headed out by Bheke for an Afghan corner.

  • March 26, 2024 19:07

    India has dominated possession from the very beginning but the finishing in the final third has not been the best. It continues to cause problems with Brandon making a run in the opposition box but fails to create a chance.

  • March 26, 2024 19:06
    3’ What a miss!

    Chhetri poked a pass for Colaco, who passed it to Brandon. Brandon crosses for Chhetri on his right, who struck with his left foot to force a save by the goalkeeper and trhen Manvir strikes on the rebound, which flies over then net. What a chance that was for India to draw first blood! 

  • March 26, 2024 19:04

    Subhasish Bose threads a pass for Sunil Chhetri, who had caught Afghanistan’s defence napping but the linesman raises the flag for off-side. The replay, however, showed that the forward was on-side.

  • March 26, 2024 19:03

    India tries to press early, with an interception from the right flank but Manvir fails to cross on time as Afghanistan gets it back.

  • March 26, 2024 19:01
    Kick Off!

    The FIFA World Cup qualifier between India and Afghanistan begins in Guwahati. India starts in Blue while the visiting side starts in white. Omid gets the ball rolling for the Afghans, who are starting from right to left.

  • March 26, 2024 18:59
    Minutes to kick off!

    The players have made their way into the field and a packed stadium, with tricolour in their hands, welcomes India, which is looking to beat Afghanistan in the second round of World Cup qualifiers.

  • March 26, 2024 18:38
    What happened the last time the two teams played?

    India and Afghanistan had a neck-to-neck contest the last time the two sides met, with the result reflecting a drab 0-0 draw. Sunil Chhetri, who had played as a No. 10 in the previous match, returns to the No. 9 position, hoping to change the team’s fortunes in this crucial World Cup qualifier.

  • March 26, 2024 18:15
    Changes in the starting line-up!

    Stimac has continued to go with his preferred 4-2-3-1 shape but has introduced three changes from the previous clash between the two sides. Akash Mishra, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Vikram Partap make way for Subhasish Bose, Manvir Singh and Brandon Fernandes

  • March 26, 2024 18:02
    Afghanistan starting XI:

    Ovays; Mahboob, Amiri, Sharif, Askar, Mosawer Ahadi, Rahmat Akbari, Jabar Sharza, Taufee Skandari, Zelfagar, Omid

  • March 26, 2024 18:00
    India starting XI:

    Gurpreet, Bheke, Bose, Anwar, Poojary; Apuia, Jeakson; Colaco, Brandon, Manvir; Sunil Chhetri

  • March 26, 2024 17:51
    India vs Afghanistan preview
  • March 26, 2024 17:34
    Guwahati is all ready to host the WC Qualifier!
  • March 26, 2024 16:38
    Match Preview

    Despite the goalless draw away to Afghanistan, India still remains in a position of relative comfort in the second round of World Cup qualifiers with two big home matches in hand. The first of which will be again against Afghanistan on Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Tuesday. In Group B, India is second in the table behind Qatar and is a point ahead of Kuwait.

    Igor Stimac opted for an all-out attack approach in Abha last Thursday with four forwards but only for his side to put in an insipid display against a robust Afghanistan side. Stimac pointed out to the four chances India had with two big ones falling to Manvir Singh and Subhasish Bose, who both failed to find the target.

    While there are pressing issues in other areas of the pitch, the lack of goals and inventiveness in the final third has been emblematic of India’s issues with zero goals in its five-match winless run.

    India is a side which neither creates high-quality chances nor does it create them at will. In the recently concluded Asian Cup, where India exited in the group stage, it finished with an xG of 0.61 – the second lowest among 24 teams.

    Naturally, the eyes will turn to the 39-year-old Sunil Chhetri, who will be playing his 150th match in India colours, but he too has struggled to find the back of the net. Chhetri has scored just once in his last 16 matches for club and country. Vikram Partap Singh has been in a rich vein of form with six goals for Mumbai City FC, but failed to keep his composure on the ball during his senior team bow in Abha.

    When the game was stretched in the second half, substitute Brandon Fernandes offered quality on the ball in the no. 10 role, but after Afghanistan regained control, the Indian midfielders failed to find the Goa attacking midfielder. It will be interesting to see if Stimac opts to shift to a 4-3-3 system to offer more control and creativity in the middle to try and break down a physical Afghanistan side.

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