Afghanistan vs Qatar prediction, preview, team news and more | 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers – Sportskeeda

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Afghanistan and Qatar lock horns on the neutral soil of Saudi Arabia at Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sport City in Hofuf on Thursday in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

With 12 points from a possible 12 in four games, Qatar have already sealed their place in the third round. Starting off with a stunning 8-1 shellacking of Afghanistan, the Maroons didn’t look back thereafter.

Interspersed between their qualifier wins was the successful defense of their Asia Cup crown, as Qatar made up for a poor World Cup on home turf by winning the continental trophy in their backyard.

Tintín Márquez’s side went the entire campaign unbeaten, winning six of their seven matches. In the one game that Qatar failed to win, they won 3-2 on penalties, beating Uzbekistan after a pulsating 2-2 draw in normal time.

Afghanistan may feel like a lamb in the slaughterhouse here, but their stunning 2-1 win over India in their last qualifying game should give them hope. The Lions of Khorasan showed exceptional spirit and fought with valor to beat India in their own backyard and keep their progression hopes alive.

With four points from as many games, Afghanistan are currently third, but level on points with India, who play Kuwait in the other match.

Afghanistan vs Qatar Head-To-Head

There have been six previous clashes between the sides, with Qatar going unbeaten in all of them, winning five. The only time Afghanistan managed to avoid a loss to Qatar was way back in 1979 in the AFC Asian Cup when the sides played out a 0-0 draw.

But the Maroons have since won four consecutive times against the Lions of Khorasan, scoring a massive 26 goals and conceding none.

Afghanistan Form Guide (all competitions): W-D-L-L-W

Qatar Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-D

Afghanistan vs Qatar Team News


The Lions of Khorasan have called up 26 players for this month’s double-header against Qatar and Kuwait, including veteran defender Zohib Islam Amiri, who has 68 caps to his name. There are five uncapped players in the squad.

Najm Haidary and Hossein Zamani were previously part of a boycott due to alleged corruption in the Afghanistan Football Federation, but have now returned to the fold.

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None


Head coach Marquez has called up several uncapped players as Qatar’s qualification to the third round is already assured. Senior players such as Akram Afif and Almoez Ali have been left out, probably to allow them some rest.

Injured: None

Doubtful: None

Suspended: None

Afghanistan vs Qatar Predicted XI

Afghanistan (4-4-2): Ovays Azizi; Mahboob Hanifi, Sharif Mukhammad, Zohib Amiri, Habibullah Askar; Mosawer Ahadi, Zelfy Nazary, Rahmat Akbari, Taufee Skandari; Jabar Sharza, Omid Popalzay

Qatar (4-2-3-1): Saad Al-Sheeb; Abdullah Al-Yazidi, Abdullah Yousif, Yousef Aymen, Yousef Marei; Ahmed Fatehi, Mostafa Meshaal; Nabil Irfan, Mehdi Al-Mejaba, Yusuf Abdurisag; Ahmed Al-Rawi

Afghanistan vs Qatar Prediction

Qatar will have fond memories of their last meeting with Afghanistan, which resulted in a thumping 8-1 victory for them. The Maroons have also enjoyed a terrific 2024 so far, winning eight of their 10 games in the calendar year.

All signs point to another comfortable victory for the Asia Cup champions.

Prediction: Afghanistan 0-3 Qatar

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