Home INDIA World Cup Qualifier: Afghanistan Shock India in Sunil Chhetri’s 150th International Match | Football News

World Cup Qualifier: Afghanistan Shock India in Sunil Chhetri’s 150th International Match | Football News

by Alexander
0 comment
World Cup Qualifier: Afghanistan Shock India in Sunil Chhetri's 150th International Match | Football News

Lower-ranked Afghanistan shocked India 2-1 as the home side suffered one of the most embarrassing defeats in recent years, despite talisman Sunil Chhetri’s 94th international goal in his 150th match, during the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday. In his important match, Chhetri did what was expected of him and found the back of the net from the spot in the 37th minute after Haroon Amiri handled the ball in the penalty area during India’s home match in the second round of the joint World Cup qualifiers and 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

Afghanistan attacked on the counter with three attackers up front and equalized when Rahmat Akbari restored parity in the 71st minute after shooting from outside the penalty area and the ball went through Rahul Bheke’s legs after a deflection to make it 1–1 to bring.

Disaster struck the Indians when a charging Gurpreet Singh was shown a yellow card and Sharif Mukhammad converted the resulting penalty (88′) to put his team 2-1 ahead with just two minutes left in regulation time.

Afghan goalkeeper Ovays Azizi guessed correctly but 39-year-old Chhetri had enough power in his shot to beat the visiting custodian, much to the delight of the crowd who gathered at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in anticipation of a fine performance from their much-discussed team. -beloved football player.

After a brief phase of relentless end-to-end attacking, Chhetri’s strike separated the two teams at half-time and India held the lead until Rahmat Akbari equalized in the 71st minute, before Mukhammad’s later strike would eventually fizzle out. Indian hopes as the visitors earned three points from the match.

Long before that, Liston Colaco came close to doubling India’s lead. But he failed to control the ball as the Afghans managed to take it back from him.

Right at the start of the match, Manvir Singh missed an easy chance to put India ahead, but his shot from a rebound, after Chhetri’s shot rattled the woodwork, flew over the net.

India coach Igor Stimac made three changes, bringing on Anirudh Thapa, Naorem Mahesh and Lallianzuala Chhangte in place of Brandon Fernandes, Liston Colaco and Chhetri.

But these changes did little to extend India’s dominance and instead the visitors found the equalizer. The worst awaited India as the visitors put another past a hapless Sandhu to break Indian hearts.

India and Afghanistan drew the first leg 0-0 on March 22 in Abha, Saudi Arabia.

Topics mentioned in this article

You may also like