It has been a mixed-bag experience for Igor Stimac’s side in the ongoing 2022 World Cup Qualifiers…

India are set to finish their campaign in the second round 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers with a match against Afghanistan at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday.

The Blue Tigers will look for their second win in the current campaign as the result would further boost their confidence after the 2-0 win over Bangladesh last week.

India have fallen to two defeats at the hands of Oman in Group E so far, drew and lost one against Qatar, Drew and won against Bangladesh and have drawn one game against Afghanistan.

While India do not stand a chance of making it to the next round of the World Cup qualification, they have a very good chance of finishing third in the group stage and qualifying directly to the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers if they avoid defeat against the Afghans in the final game. Afghanistan lost their penultimate group match against Oman 2-1 on Friday.

It has been a mixed-bag experience for the Indian side in the ongoing qualifiers. They began their journey with a closely fought defeat to Oman followed by a historic goalless draw against reigning Asian Cup Champions 

After the first seven matches of the World Cup qualifiers, India’s average ball possession is about 50 per cent and their passing accuracy is 81%. 

Igor Stimac India

What’s India’s stats in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers?

Matches Ball Possession Passing Accuracy Shots/Goal Duels Won GF GA GD
7 50.2% 81% 7.85 47.2% 5 6 -1

It must be noted that though the possession stats are around 50 per cent, four of the seven games India have played have been against superior West Asian nations – Oman and Asian Champions Qatar. India were expected to lose the battle for possession against physical and technical teams like them. 

Igor Stimac’s team have been defensively solid when compared to the Indian contingent which participated in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers. However, there are quite a few eye-catching statistics such as the passing accuracy which would certainly be a positive to take from the campaign. 

Brandon Fernandes, Jamal Bhuyan, Bangladesh vs India, 2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Further Reading

How to watch India vs Afghanistan

Can India end their campaign with a positive GD?

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