Indian football fans were again left seething in frustration as the side fell against Asian Champions Qatar despite taking the lead in the first half. The scoreline ended 2-1 in favour of the home side at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in a game surrounded by controversy.

In their first game without former skipper Sunil Chhetri, Gurpreet Sandhu started the game with the captain’s armband and came agonizingly close to leading the team to their first-ever trip to the third round of the FIFA WC Qualifiers. The loss also means that India will not receive automatic qualification to the AFC Asian Cup 2027.