The Indian males’s soccer group began their qualifying journey for the 2026 FIFA World Cup with a formidable 1-0 win over Kuwait on the Jaber Al-Ahmad Worldwide Stadium in Kuwait Metropolis. After a cautious first half, Manvir Singh’s second-half aim on Thursday, November 16 secured all three factors for the Blue Tigers.
Indian head coach Igor Stimac surprisingly dropped two of his common starters, Lallianzuala Chhangte and Anirudh Thapa, from the beginning XI. Rahul Bheke partnered Sandesh Jhingan on the again, whereas Manvir Singh changed Chhangte on the fitting flank. Moreover, Mumbai Metropolis FC midfielder Apuia Ralte earned his first begin since June, becoming a member of Suresh Singh Wangjam within the pivot.
The hosts began on the entrance foot, whereas the Blue Tigers sat again contentedly seeking to hit their opponents on half-time. Nevertheless, it was the guests who had the primary clear probability of the match. Sunil Chhetri narrowly missed the goal with a shot from the sting of the penalty space across the twentieth minute.
India’s assaults have been largely orchestrated from the flanks, with Manvir Singh specifically wanting harmful on the break. Kuwait, then again, appeared extra managed, however struggled to create something significant.
Within the first half hour the probabilities between each groups have been few and much between. The primary half finally ended with a low rating, with the rating 0-0, as each groups managed just one shot on track.
India scores within the second half to register an important win over Kuwait
Kuwait head coach Rui Bento made three adjustments in the beginning of the second half to enhance his aspect’s depth and efficiency stage. Midfielders Ahmad Zanki, Hamad Al-Qallaf and Zaid Al-Harbi got here on for Mobarak Al-Faneni, Mohsen Ghareeb and Reda Hani.
In consequence, they got here out of the break firing and created their first clear probability only a minute into the break. A set piece prompted every kind of issues for India, however the unmarked Fahad Al-Hajeri despatched his header vast from shut vary. Regardless of Kuwait’s attacking begin, the Blue Tigers have been resolute on the again as they constantly cleared Kuwait’s hazard.
The match ultimately began to open up, and when Chhangte got here in across the hour mark, India began inflicting issues from each flanks. Their stress finally paid off because the Blue Tigers took the lead with quarter-hour of regulation time remaining.
After a fast transfer from the again, Chhangte, who ran in behind the full-back, delivered a pinpoint cross into the penalty space. The 2 wingers got here collectively, with Manvir Singh beating his marker earlier than firing the ball into the underside nook along with his weak foot.
After the aim, India confirmed resilience on the again and secured an important 1-0 win in opposition to Kuwait away from dwelling. Their subsequent problem awaits them in opposition to Qatar on the Kalinga Stadium on November 21, whereas Kuwait will tackle Afghanistan on the identical day.