Indian Football Team defeats Kuwait in a dramatic match as Manvir Singh’s only goal separates the sides.
India vs Kuwait: The Indian Football Team got off to a winning start in their second round of FIFA World Cup qualifiers by defeating Kuwait 1-0 away from home. In the 75th minute, Manvir Singh scored the game’s lone goal with a superb finish. The Blue Tigers managed to hold onto their slim lead and earn all three points despite a late surge by the Al Azraqs. In the Group A table, India now comes in second, right behind Qatar.
Igor Stimac made 3 changes to his starting lineup as the Blue Tigers started the game with a 4-2-3-1 formation. India was without the services of Anwar Ali and Jeakson Singh. Stimac brought in Rahul Bheke and Apuia respectively. To add more physicality he brought in Manvir Singh for Lallianzuala Chhangte.
India started on a bright note boosted by the confidence of the previous results. However, despite starting with intent the Indian Football Team failed to keep early possession as they tried to string some passes together.
Sunil Chhetri had his best chance in the 20th minute when Nikhil Poojary set him up unmarked inside the box. The captain, however, was unable to keep his attempt on target for his 94th international goal.
India’s next chance came after Poojary was fouled on the right flank and a freekick was awarded to them. On the near post, Mahesh delivered it well into the box for Akash Mishra.
However, the left-back was unable to make contact, and the ball bounced right to the keeper! Throughout the first half, the Indian defense and midfield were outstanding, denying Kuwait any opportunities to score or create.
With some good saves and some inept misses, both teams went into the break level. While Kuwait remained organized throughout, India was the superior team, pressing with drive and combining sharply. However, they lacked a touch of enthusiasm in the final third, failing to register a goal in the first half.
Kuwait made numerous substitutions as the second half began. Mubarak Al Faneni, Mohsen Ghareeb, and Redha Hani’s replacements were Faisal Al-Harbi, Ahmad Zanki, and Hamad Al Qallaf.
The teams got the second half off to a fast start, with Kuwait controlling the early minutes. India was attempting to find their feet. Manvie Singh came very close to scoring several times. However, the MBSG scorer broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.
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Lallianzuala Chhangte’s immediate influence altered the game for India, as the Blue Tigers seized the lead in the 78th minute through Manvir Singh. Lallinzuala Chhangte made a quick break and delivered a low cross inside the box for Manvir and Sunil. Manvir reached for the ball and shoots it straight beating the Kuwait custodian.
Mohammad Abdullah wasted a golden opportunity to equalize after Ahmad Zanki put him up inside the box from the right flank. Suresh Wangjam easily stopped Abdullah’s shot as he turned to shoot.
Abdullah went for the loose ball, but Gurpreet Singh did enough to close the space and deny the equalizer. India looked to capitalize on more opportunities as they sought a second goal to seal the victory. However, despite a lot of goalmouth action from the Blue Tigers, they only managed one goal.
In the Group A game of the day, Qatar got better of Afghanistan at home. In the second game of their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers, India will face Qatar at home. The game is scheduled for November 21st at 7 p.m. at Kalinga Stadium.
India vs Kuwait Starting XI:
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Rahul Bheke, Sandesh, Akash Mishra, Manvir Singh, Suresh Singh Wangjam, Lalengmawia, Sunil Chhetri (C), Sahal Abdul Samad, Mahesh Singh Naorem
Abdulrahman Marzouq, Hasan Alanezi, Khaled Ibrahim (C), Fahad Alhajeri, Sultan Alenezi, Redha Abujabarah, Mobarak Alfaneeni, Shabaib Alkhaldi, Athbi Saleh