Qatar controversially beat India by a 2-1 scoreline on Tuesday, June 11, to knock the latter out of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers in Doha, Qatar. India led until the 75th minute thanks to a goal from Mumbai City FC’s Lallianzuala Chhangte in the first half. However, two late goals from Qatar ended their hopes.

Qatar’s first goal, in the 75th minute, was ridden with controversy. The hosts were awarded a free kick from close to the goal. While the goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu parried the first shot away, the second was put away even though the assist came from outside the pitch.

The ball had clearly gone out of the field of play even as the Qatar attackers passed it on to centre-half Yousef Aymen to tap into the empty net. After consulting with the linesman, the referee gave it as a goal to Qatar. This had come even after replays showed that the shot from the ricochet of the free kick came from an offside position.

India ended up in the third position of the league table after this game, behind Qatar and Kuwait, who conjured up a magical win against Afghanistan in their final-day encounter. The Igor Stimac-managed side could not perform to the best of their potential. They will be disappointed with how they were eliminated from their group.

The future of the head coach is now up for discussion, with Stimac having previously stated that he would not continue with the team if he fails to lead them to the third round of the FIFA WC Qualifiers. The referee Woo-Sung Kim was the villain for the Blue Tigers in this game. Yet, the truth is that the latter were extremely poor throughout this round and should have managed to qualify on their own.

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