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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Gurpreet, Anwar shine, Thapa Sahal need to improve as India draw against Kuwait in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Published at :June 6, 2024 at 11:32 PM
Modified at :June 7, 2024 at 12:10 AM
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(Courtesy : AIFF media)

Uttiyo Sarkar

Suresh Singh also performed well for India against Kuwait.

India were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Kuwait in their 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Thursday (June 6). In Sunil Chhetri’s final game, there were no goals and the teams cancelled each other out. Let’s look at the player ratings.


Gurpreet Singh Sandhu – 7.0

Gurpreet was sharp and composed in his goal, denying Kuwait with some impressive saves – especially one to deny Al Rashidi in the second half. His passing, however, could be better.

Nikhil Poojary – 3.0

Poojary was troubled by Dahan’s movement but didn’t let him get into major scoring areas. Won four duels and made three recoveries.

Rahul Bheke – 7.0

Bheke held together a great defensive line, not allowing Kuwait to penetrate it that easily. Made six clearances, won three duels and also passed the ball around nicely – keeping the opposition forward quiet.

Anwar Ali – 7.0

Anwar was superb in the backline again, coming up at the right places with his clever game-reading. He made three clearances, won seven duels and also made over 50 passes. But, his performance was slightly tainted by a bad early miss from a corner.

Jay Gupta – 6.5

In his India debut, Gupta was reliable and sturdy at the back. Kept things simple, but made four possession recoveries and two clearances in an admirable effort.

Suresh Singh – 6.0

Suresh had trouble dealing with the physicality of the Kuwaiti players, only winning 4/10 duels in midfield and being overpowered at times. But, he still worked hard defensively, making two tackles and two clearances. Had little attacking threat.

Anirudh Thapa – 5.0

Thapa added some decent energy in midfield and a set-piece threat, creating a few nice chances with his crosses. Substituted at half-time after struggling to win duels in midfield.

Sahal Abdul Samad – 4.0

The Mohun Bagan man failed to add that special creative spark that was expected of him. Only completed 3/9 passes and saw a shot go wide.

Lallianzuala Chhangte – 5.0

The Mumbai City forward had a frustrating outing at the Salt Lake Stadium, making under 10 passes. He couldn’t create anything major and saw one shot go glaringly wide.

Liston Colaco – 5.0

Liston had a frustrating evening. Despite making a few darting runs through the left, he missed that special pass or finish. Wasted a few attempts with poor shots.

Sunil Chhetri – 5.0

In his farewell match, Chhetri just wasn’t given enough support to create something special. He was marked tightly and completed just six passes. Failed to get a shot on goal or create anything major.


Brandon Fernandes – 6.0

Fernandes made a positive impact after coming on. Created multiple chances with his brilliant crosses and through balls, but saw nothing come off it.

Rahim Ali – 5.0

Ali had a big chance to score right after coming on but failed to score past the keeper. Failed to be involved in anything major after that.

Manvir Singh – 5.5

Manvir added some pace and penetration through the right but failed to get the better of the opposition wing-backs. Saw a late header go well wide.

Edmund Lalrindika – N/R

Edmund made his India debut, but couldn’t really make much of an impact late on. Booked late on too.


Sulaiman Abdulghafoor – 6.5

The Kuwait No. 1 was forced onto his toes in the second half. Made a few impressive saves, including one to deny Rahm Ali.

Redha Abujabarah – 6.5

Stifled Liston with some sturdy defending and robbed him of possession a few times, but added little attacking threat.  

Khaled Ibrahim – 7.0

Settled and composed at the back and he maintained a strong defensive shape all game long.

Hasan Al Anezi – 7.5

Al Anezi was quite proactive at the back and aggressive with his challenges, making five clearances. Booked for a rough tackle in Rahim Ali around the hour mark. Made some clutch late challenges too.

Meshari Alenezi – 6.5

The left-back was way more attack-minded than his fellow full-back, making clever forward runs to threaten the Indian backline. Quite composed defensively, frustrating Chhangte with his man-marking and clever defending.

Rashed Aldousari – 7.5

Al Dousari was the engine for the Kuwait team, covering a lot of ground to destroy India’s build-up play and hassle their players. He won four tackles, made two blocks and won eight duels in an impressive hard-working effort.

Atabi Saleh – 6.0

Saleh was energetic in midfield, helping Kuwait absorb the pressure and coming up with occasional clutch challenges to avert danger.

Eid Al Rashidi – 7.0

Al Rashidi was a menacing figure with his smart movement and unpredictable work with the left foot. Created a few nice chances with his impressive delivery and tested Gurpreet with some stinging efforts too.

Faisal Alharbi – 6.5

Al Harbi was often involved in charging his team forward, creating a few nice chances and maintaining over 90% passing accuracy. Forced Gurpreet into a sharp save early in the second half.

Mohammad Daham – 7.5

Daham was a terror for the Indian backline with his rapid movement and fearlessness in taking on the defenders. Troubled Nikhil Poojary and created four chances, as well as contributing quite a lot defensively.

Youssef Al Sulaiman – 4.0

The experienced forward had a bit of a drab evening. He barely got service in the box and fluffed whatever shots attempted at goal.


Ahamad Aldhefiri –  6.0

Moved the ball around nicely and created some decent chances after coming on.

Sultan Alenezi – 6.0

Al Enezi added some energy into midfield but had a rather forgettable cameo.

Ali Matar – 5.5

Matar added some defensive sturdiness to his team after coming on late in the second half.

Fahed Al Hajeri – N/R

Brought on to help his side get the clean-sheet and did just that.

Sami Al Sanea – N/R

Involved in a late brawl after reacting badly to a challenge and was booked for that.

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