India vs Afghanistan: FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Highlights

In a crucial FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifier clash between India and Afghanistan in Guwahati, the Indian team faced a heartbreaking defeat against Afghanistan. Despite initially taking the lead with a penalty from Sunil Chhetri on his 150th international appearance, India succumbed to a 1-2 loss as Afghanistan staged a remarkable comeback.

First Half Highlights:
Sunil Chhetri’s historic moment came in the first half when he converted a penalty to give India the lead. However, Afghanistan responded strongly, with Rahmat Akbari scoring the equalizer shortly after Chhetri was substituted by head coach Igor Stimac. The first half ended with the score level at 1-1.

Second Half Drama:
The second half witnessed intense action, with both teams pushing for a decisive goal. Afghanistan capitalized on a defensive error from India as Sharif Mukhammad converted a penalty to give his team the lead. Despite India’s efforts to find an equalizer, they were unable to break through Afghanistan’s resilient defense.

India’s Struggles and Afghanistan’s Resilience:
India faced a tough period of play, with Afghanistan’s compact defense proving difficult to penetrate. Despite creating some threatening opportunities, including a brilliant long-range shot from Skandari, India struggled to capitalize. Afghanistan’s ability to capitalize on defensive errors and convert penalties ultimately proved decisive in their victory.

The defeat marks a significant setback for India in their quest to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2026. Sunil Chhetri’s milestone goal was overshadowed by Afghanistan’s remarkable comeback, highlighting the challenges faced by the Indian team. As they regroup and reflect on the loss, India will need to address their defensive vulnerabilities and strive for improvement in future matches to keep their World Cup hopes alive.

Stay tuned for more updates and highlights from the FIFA World Cup 2026 qualifiers as India continues its journey to secure a spot on the world stage.


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