Doha, Qatar: Coach Marquez Lopez will expect his young Qatar side to maintain their unbeaten run in the second round of the Asian Cup 2027 and FIFA World Cup 2026 joint qualifiers as they prepare for their final Group A match against India in Doha.

Al Annabi arrived home soon after being held to a goalless draw by Afghanistan in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia on Thursday and underwent a light training session on Friday. They are scheduled to hold an extensive training session today at Aspire to prepare for Tuesday’s match set to take place at Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

The two-time Asian champions, who have 13 points from five matches, have already advanced to the third round of qualifiers but all the other three teams have a chance to end up in runners-up position that will ensure a place in the third round of World Cup qualifiers as well as a spot in the next Asian Cup.

India currently are second behind Qatar in the group with five points, having an edge over Afghanistan on goal difference. Kuwait, who will play Afghanistan in their last group tie, are on the bottom with four points.

Lopez handed Qatar debut to six youngsters – Abdallah Sirelkhatim, Tahsin Jamshid, Ibrahim Mohammad, Mohammed Khaled, Abdulla Al Yazidi and Yousef Zeyad – against Afghanistan who broke their winning streak in the qualifer. The coach though is expected to stick with his young squad but would look to end the group campaign on a winning after a frustrating draw against Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, India coach Igor Stimac yesterday announced a 23-member squad for the crucial clash as the Blue Tigers will be without legendary Sunil Chhetri, who played his last international match against Kuwait in Kolkata on Thursday.

Stimac did not name Subhasish Bose, Lalchungnunga, and Amey Ranawade, who were in the squad that played a goalless draw against Kuwait.

“In five days’ time, this might be India U23 against Qatar U23 if you look at the age and the players we have, so I expect a lot from this game, to be honest,” Stimac had said after the draw.

The Qatar Football Association yesterday announced the start of ticket sales for the match which will kick off at 6:45pm. Fans can buy the tickets from

India's squad: Goalkeepers: Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Amrinder Singh, Vishal Kaith. Defenders: Anwar Ali, Jay Gupta, Mehtab Singh, Narender, Nikhil Poojary, Rahul Bheke. Midfielders: Anirudh Thapa, Brandon Fernandes, Edmund Lalrindika, Jeakson Singh Thounaojam, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Liston Colaco, Mahesh Singh Naorem, Nandhakumar Sekar, Sahal Abdul Samad, Suresh Singh Wangjam. Forwards: Manvir Singh, Rahim Ali, Vikram Partap Singh, David Lalhlansanga.

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