Qatar vs India: Blue Tigers looking to get lucky again at Al-Sadd Stadium

The last time India played Qatar at Doha's Al-Sadd Stadium, the Blue Tigers claimed a remarkable 2-1 win. Can Igor Stimac's men secure another stunning win in their 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier clash on Tuesday?

Igor Stimac during a training session with the Indian players.   -  Twitter @IndianFootball

The last time Qatar hosted India at Doha's Al-Sadd Stadium (Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium), the Indian football team secured a remarkable 2-1 victory. Sunil Chhetri scored from the spot and Sushil Singh also found the target. The match, however, was not considered an official international friendly since India had used more than the allowed number of substitutions.

The scenario today, when the two sides clash in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier, is a lot different. Qatar has since stormed its way into world football and proudly stands as the reigning AFC Asian Cup champion. The nation will host the 2022 World Cup - only the second edition to be held in Asia and the first on Arab soil.

India's progress has been less spectacular. The team failed to go past the group stage at the Asian Cup in 2019. The team now has a new coach in Croatia's Igor Stimac, who has instilled a refreshing attacking style of play and has encouraged the boys to play the ball from the back as opposed to the typical long punt forward approach.

- Stats favour Qatar -

The two senior teams have met only once, back in 1996, when Qatar handed India a 6-0 thrashing during the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifier. The two nations have since faced each other on four other occasions at the U-23 level and the Arab nation emerged victorious thrice, while one game ended in a draw.

Igor Stimac's Indian football team will be eager to pick up points against Qatar after the side slipped to a 2-1 loss to Oman last week. Chhetri had opened the scoring for India, but a second half brace from Al Alawi Al Mandhar saw Oman run away with three points.

Stimac had said “anything is possible in football” in the pre-match conference, but it seems like an uphill task for his men as reports have suggested that Chhetri might not play owing to high fever. Adding to this is also the fact that a couple of other key players have also reported exhaustion.

Qatar comes into the tie without any injury concerns and on a high after cruising to a massive 6-0 win over Afghanistan. The home side will undoubtedly start as the favourite to seal another comprehensive win.

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