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FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: Afghanistan Stun India In Sunil Chhetri's 150th Game - In Pics

Indian football hit a new low with a soul-crushing 1-2 defeat to lower-ranked Afghanistan in the FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifiers in Guwahati on Tuesday (March 26), the result reflecting the mess the sport currently finds itself in the country. Entering the home leg match of the qualifiers as the fancied team, the 117-ranked India took the lead in the 37th minute, when talisman Sunil Chhetri struck his 94th international goal in his landmark 150th match, PTI reported. However, the Afghans hit back in the second half with goals from Rahmat Akbari (71') and Sharif Mukhammad (88'), leaving the packed house at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium heartbroken after yet another failure.

FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan | Photo: PTI

Players of Afghanistan celebrate after winning the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 fixture at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, in Guwahati.

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FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan
FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan | Photo: PTI

Players of Afghanistan (in white) celebrate after scoring a goal against India during the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 preliminary joint qualification round 2 match between India and Afghanistan, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

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FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan
FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan | Photo: PTI

Players of India (in Blue) and Afghanistan vie for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 preliminary joint qualification round 2 match between India and Afghanistan, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

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FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan
FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan | Photo: PTI

Players of India (in Blue) and Afghanistan vie for the ball during the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 preliminary joint qualification round 2 match between India and Afghanistan, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

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FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan
FIFA WC 2026 Qualifiers: India Vs Afghanistan | Photo: PTI

Players of India (in Blue) and Afghanistan during the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 preliminary joint qualification round 2 match between India and Afghanistan, at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.

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