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Indian Football Team

How did the Indian debutants perform in goalless draw against Kuwait?

Published at :June 7, 2024 at 10:15 PM
Modified at :June 10, 2024 at 8:22 PM
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Waseem


The debutants had to perform under a high-pressure situation.

Indian men’s football team played a goalless draw with the Kuwait national football team in the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (second round) fixture at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on 6 June 2024. The stakes were high for Igor Stimac who desperately needed a win in what was to be the final-ever match of Sunil Chhetri for India. 

The draw and failure to score any goals were massively disappointing outcomes for the capacity crowd that came in large numbers hoping to see Sunil Chhetri score for one last time. Despite it being a pressure situation, Stimac gave a chance to a few new faces who earned the right to play for their national team following impressive performances in domestic competitions for their respective clubs.

Looking back at the fixture, here is a look at how new faces performed for India during the 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers (second round) fixture:

Jay Gupta

Jay Gupta started for India in the left-back position for his international debut. The FC Goa defender was a force of nature in the Indian Super League, dominating forwards with his physicality and pace. His off-the-ball running and defensive aptitude compelled Igor Stmac to give him the nod ahead of other experienced figures.

Jay Gupta gave a good account of himself against Kuwait. He kept a close eye on the runners on the flank and denied them space well. He made two clearances and one key interception to deny Kuwait forwards a goalscoring chance.

The full-back also made a key pass which could have led to a goal had Indian forwards finished better in the final third. Overall, Jay Gupta’s introduction to the starting lineup was positive, and he deserves to retain his place against the mighty Qatar in the upcoming qualifier.

Edmund Lalrindika

Igor Stimac substituted Edmund Lalrindika to the field in the 83rd minute. The attacker was sent to induce more energy going forward. The 25-year-old used his fresh legs well in duels and covering for defenders. He also completed five out of six passing attempts. He combined well with the rest of his teammates and did not look out of his depth, proving that I-League players are as good as the ones from the ISL.

The Inter Kashi forward was also involved in a bust-up with one of Kuwait’s players which led to an altercation. He was shown a yellow card after the incident but motivated the crowd in the process to cheer for the team louder. 

Edmund Lalrindika showed a lot of drive and hunger in the few minutes he got on the pitch. Perhaps, in the future, the attacker will get more playing time and make a better impact on the proceedings. 

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