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WC Qualification Asia

Chhetri, Vijayan and India's top goalscorers in World Cup Qualifiers?

8:47 AM IST 03/06/21
Sunil Chhetri, IM Vijayan, India
23 Indians have scored 48 goals in the nine editions of the World Cup qualifiers the Blue Tigers have taken part in...

India's all-time highest goal getter in international football Sunil Chhetri tops the chart highest Indian goalscorers in the World Cup qualifiers scoring seven goals in three different editions so far.

Second to Sunil Chhetri is the legendary Indian striker I.M Vijayan who netted five times in three different editions of the qualifiers. Vijayan is followed by Jo Paul who had scored four goals in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers which is the Blue Tigers' most successful qualification campaign ever.

There are several other illustrious names who feature in this list like Bhaichung Bhutia, Renedy Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua. 

In 48 World Cup qualifying matches, 23 different players have scored a total of 48 goals in nine editions of the World Cup qualifiers so far.

With three matches remaining in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, can Chhetri increase his tally and take it to double figures?

Top 10 Indian goalscorers in World Cup Qualifiers

Player Goals Editions
Sunil Chhetri 7 2010 (2), 2018 (4), 2022 (1)
I.M Vijayan 5 1994 (2), 1998 (1), 2002 (2)
Jo Paul Ancheri 4 2002
VP Sathyan 3 1994
Jeje Lalpekhlua 2 2014, 2018
Bhaichung Bhutia 2 2002
Renedy Singh 2 2006
Bhupinder Thakur 2 1994
Krishanu Dey 2 1986
Bikash Panji 2 1986

How are India doing in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers?

India started their World Cup qualification run with a narrow 2-1 defeat at the hands of Oman at home, followed by a historic goalless draw against Asian champions Qatar in Doha. In their third and fourth matches, the Blue Tigers managed 1-1 draws against both Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Oman away from home.

They resume their campaign against Qatar on June 3, followed by Bangladesh and Afghanistan on June 7 and June 15 respectively. All the matches of India's group are hosted by Qatar.

Current group standings

Teams Matches W D L PTS
Qatar 6 5 1 0 16
Oman 5 4 0 1 12
Afghanistan 5 1 1 3 4
India 5 0 3 2 3
Bangladesh 5 0 1 4 1

What happens if India finish fourth or fifth?

If India finish fourth then also they can qualify for the Asian Cup qualifying third round if they finish amongst the four best fourth-placed teams across all groups. The remaining four fourth-placed teams will advance to the Asian Cup qualifying play-off round.

If India finish fifth in the table, then they will have to participate in the Asian Cup Qualifying play-off round.