Brandon Fernandes. (Twitter)
Brandon Fernandes said the Indian team is ready to take on Qatar even though it may not be an easy game.
Tickets are now officially sold out for the Indian men’s football team’s FIFA World Cup 2026 and AFC Asian Cup 2027 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2 clash against Qatar in Bhubaneswar.
India are unbeaten at home this year, but the biggest test is set to come as Igor Stimac’s men take on Asian champions Qatar.
The Blue Tigers started their World Cup campaign with three points against Kuwait away from home, in their Group A clash.
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Brandon Fernandes, who did not take part in the win over Kuwait, explained his recent injury.
“I had an elbow problem from the last ISL game. I am recovering well and have trained the last couple of days,” Brandon Fernandes said during a media interaction ahead of the game at the Kalinga Stadium.
When asked about what the win over Kuwait meant to the players, Brandon said: “It is very motivating. We went there to get all three points, which we got and now is a new challenge for us. Qatar is a very good team. We have to go according to our plans and execute them and see what happens.”
The Indian mid-field star is not expecting though against the defending Asian champions.
“It is going to be a very difficult game for us. We are coming from a very good victory against Kuwait at home. Now we are playing at home. We will be well prepared and be ready to go,” he said.
“We will play with a lot of confidence, defend well, look to attack as much as possible and try to score goals,” he added.
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Brandon went on to explain that even though Qatar is expected to hog possession of the ball and India might be forced to chase shadows for long periods, anything can happen in football. Belief he says is key.
“There are different aspects of the game. We will get opportunities with the ball. We have to be ready and be clinical and take those chances. In football, one action can make a big difference,” Brandon said.
“Everyone is motivated for the game and we hope there will be a lot of crowd to be behind us. Of course, we will give our best and see what happens in the game,” he added.
When prodded to reveal what it would mean to him if he featured in the game, Brandon said: “Whenever I get to play, I have the motivation to help the team in every way. I just wait for my opportunity to come.”