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India reach AFC qualifiers third round after a draw with Afghanistan 

India failed to retain the lead in the FIFA World Cup 2022 and Asian Cup 2023 qualifiers on Tuesday, but managed to reach the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. India needed a draw while Afghanistan needed a win to reach the third round of the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers. In the 75th minute of the match when the ball went off Azizi’s hand and went into his goal, there was a wave of happiness among the Indian supporters. However, this lead did not last long for the Indian football team and Afghanistan scored 1-1 in the 82nd minute with Hossein Zamani’s goal.

The Indian team finished fifth in the group last time, but this time the team may have failed to score more goals in its entire campaign but it also gave tough competition to strong teams like Qatar and Oman in their group. In this match, the Indian team had made a goal opportunity in the third minute of the match, but Manvir Singh could not convert the chance made by Brandon Fernandes into the goal. Three minutes later, Afghanistan captain Farshad Noor also created an opportunity, which was stopped by Chinglensana Singh.

Sunil Chhetri then tried to give India the lead at Glenn Martins’ pass, but the Afghanistan goalkeeper defended well. After leaving the first half goalless, Afghanistan started the attack in the second half. In the 57th minute of the match, goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu saved Afghanistan from taking the lead.

Chhetri, who scored two goals against Bangladesh, could not show a charismatic game in this match and was called out in the 69th minute of the match. India got a breakthrough in the 75th minute when Ashiq shot Manveer’s pass towards the goal post and Azizi scored a suicide goal after stopping it. However, in the 82nd minute, the Afghanistan team was successful in overcoming Indian goalkeeper Gurpreet Sandhu with the help of Noor Husin. After the draw, Afghanistan intensified the attack but the Indian team did not let them succeed in scoring.

Sunil Chhetri-led Indian team finished third in Group E after this draw. India has seven points from eight matches with one win, four draws, and three losses, while Afghanistan is at the fourth position with six points from the same number of matches.

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