“India a great team, we deserved that win…”: Afghanistan footballer Rahmat following victory in WC Qualifiers – World News Network

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Guwahati (Assam) [India], March 27 (ANI): Following his team’s win over India in their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers match, Afghanistan footballer Rahmat Akbari said that the match was very crucial for them to stay in contention for a World Cup spot and expressed hope that after this big win, his team will do well against Kuwait and Qatar.
India’s quest for a place in the third round of the FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualifiers suffered a serious jolt when they went down to Afghanistan 1-2 on Tuesday. The winners trailed 0-1 at halftime.
Skipper Sunil Chhetri, playing his 150th international game, kept his date with history by giving the Blue Tigers the lead off a penalty kick in the 38th minute in front of jam-packed stands at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. The joy, however, was turned into complete misery when Rahmat Akbari’s shot deflected off a defender to find its way past Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in the 70th minute for the equaliser, and then Sharif Mukhammad dealt the deathly blow by converting a penalty in the 88th minute.
Following the match, speaking to ANI, midfielder Rahmat said, “India is a great team. We deserve that win. We came out of the second half just all out. This is basically a grand final for us to stay in the World Cup qualifiers, and we achieved that. The boys were great. They put in a great shift. We have got two more games to go so hopefully we get a good result against Kuwait and Qatar.”
“We have a camp in May ahead of our matches against Kuwait and Qatar. We are going to keep working. Our coach (Ashley Westwood) is great. We need to keep sticking to our plans and hopefully we will get our results,” the midfielder added.
Speaking about Chhetri, who has 94 international goals, the third-most by an active player behind legendary players like Argentina’s World Cup winning star Lionel Messi (106) and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (128), Rahmat said, “He is a great player. It was a privilege to play against him. I hope he keeps going like this.”
The loss of three points in this home tie left India with just four points from four matches in the four-team Round 2 group, at the second spot. While Qatar leads the group with nine points from three matches, Afghanistan, too, has four points from as many matches.
India have two more matches in hand. While defeating Asian champion Qatar in the away match would be a difficult task, it may finally boil down to India’s hope match against Kuwait on June 6. But Afghanistan can definitely aspire to overtake India in the points table. (ANI)


Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from a syndicated feed of ANI; only the image & headline may have been reworked by News Services Division of World News Network Inc Ltd and Palghar News and Pune News and World News


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