The Indian men’s football team defeated Kuwait 1-0 in the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium in Kuwait City to start their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign. On Thursday, November 16, Manvir Singh’s goal in the second half gave the Blue Tigers all three points following a cautious first half.
India chose to sit back and wait for their opponents to make a mistake, while the hosts got off to a fast start. However, the first clear-cut opening of the contest belonged to the visitors. About the 20th minute, Sunil Chhetri took a shot near the edge of the box, just missing the goal.
The flanks were where most of India’s assaults were planned, and Manvir Singh in particular looked deadly when he was breaking. Kuwait, however, gave off the impression of being more collected but was unable to produce anything noteworthy. During the first thirty minutes of the match, there were very few opportunities for either team. Both teams were only able to muster one shot on goal, and the first half concluded in a cagey 0-0 draw.
India seal the deal in tense tie
After a while, the game started to get more open, and when Chhangte entered the game around the 60th minute. India also started to cause trouble from both wings. With fifteen minutes remaining in normal time, the Blue Tigers finally seized the lead, proving that their pressure had paid off.
Chhangte sprinted past the full-back after making a quick pass from the back and sent a pinpoint cross towards the penalty box. Together, the two wingers were able to overcome their defender and use Manvir Singh’s weak foot to guide the ball towards the bottom corner.
India showed tenacity in the defence after taking the lead to defeat Kuwait 1-0 on the road. On November 21, they will take on Qatar at Kalinga Stadium in their next test.
Fans react as Team India clinch crucial victory in opening game of FIFA WC Qualifiers: –
3? Points ?
On to the next game, the big one against Qatar ?
— Indian Football Team (@IndianFootball) November 16, 2023
Credits to coach and support staff equally as players pic.twitter.com/12NcE6hV1G
— Hisoka (@Terminate7777) November 16, 2023
What a goal from Manvir Singh. But lads need to improve against Qatar. pic.twitter.com/wtAQ3o2rzW
— Harsha (@Harsha111000) November 16, 2023
If we win against Qatar mind you this Indian team will somehow qualify for the FIFA WC 2026! Keep believing the dream is still alive.
In Sunil Chhetri and his men we trust!???
— Rahul Ahuja (@rahulahuja21) November 16, 2023
Brilliant start to the campaign, all eyes now on home leg against Qatar on 21st ?
— Johns (@JohnyBravo183) November 16, 2023
LET'S FREAKING GO, CHAK DE INDIA ????
— sohom (@AwaaraHoon) November 16, 2023
CHAK DE ???
— Premier League India (@PLforIndia) November 16, 2023
See you the #BlueTigers at Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.
— Manas Muduli?? (@manas_muduli) November 17, 2023