India 2022 World Cup Qualifier Preview

Although India may have failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup, the football team still has a shot at qualifying for the Asian Cup in 2023. This is because if India manage to hold on to third place in Group E, they will make it to the third round of the Asian Cup qualifier.

India will face a tough match against Group E leaders Qatar on 24 March. After this, on June 7, there should be a fairly easy game against Bangladesh. India's final 2022 World Cup qualifier will be against Afghanistan on 15 June.

This could be an important game for India with a chance of a chance in the Asian Cup as Afghanistan is far ahead of India in the Group E table. The Qatar game was originally supposed to be played in October 2020. But the match was postponed as a result of the Kovid-19 epidemic.

What went wrong in India's 2022 World Cup campaign?

At present, India is in fourth place in the Group E table. The team won no five, three draws and two defeats in their five World Cup qualifiers. Only the first two teams will go through the third round of qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

Qatar currently tops the table with Oman. Afghanistan are just one point ahead of India in third place. Bangladesh are at the bottom of the Group E table with just one draw and four defeats.

Much of the blame is placed on India's head coach Igor Stimack. The former Croatian star was appointed as the boss of the Indian football team after leaving the role of Stefan Constantine in May 2019. Stimac began their campaign with an unfortunate 1-2 home defeat to Oman. However, this was followed by a relatively positive result, when India drew 0-0 with the defending Asian Champions Qatar.

From here, India could get a 1–1 draw against a low Bangladesh and mediocre Afghanistan team. A 1-0 defeat by Oman, ensuring that India did not qualify for the 2022 World Cup, provided another setback for the team.

Despite this, there are still many positives for Indian football. Gurpreet Singh Sandhu has earned a commanding reputation as a quality goalkeeper, while players like Manveer Singh, Farukh Chaudhary and Nishu Kumar have made valuable contributions to the Indian team.

Unfortunately, there is still work to be done to improve the attack of toothless India instead of India. Although Stamack's team can enjoy possession of the ball to a great extent, their ability to convert possession into goals has proved elusive.

In this way, the next three World Cup qualifiers will give Stamack more opportunities to guide India on the finer things. If he fails to do so, India may once again seek another head coach to guide his football team.

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