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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Throwback to when Manvir Singh's goal earned India a victory against Kuwait

Published at :June 2, 2024 at 9:32 PM
Modified at :June 2, 2024 at 9:32 PM
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(Courtesy : AIFF media)

Yash Pratap Singh

A lot has changed since the Indian football team played their last qualifier against the Blue Wave.

We are almost halfway through 2024 and so much has happened over the last few months, but the Indian football team are yet to turn their fortunes around. A poor run of results have followed after a disappointing Asian Cup campaign at the beginning of the year.

However, with a new day come new opportunities and the story is no different for Igor Stimac and his Blue Tigers. They will lock horns against Kuwait on June 6 at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata with the hope of securing their first win of the year. Moreover, it will also be a historic game as India gears up to bid farewell to its most special player Sunil Chhetri, who will play his final game in blue.

Throwback to reverse fixture

As India prepare for a mighty challenge against Kuwait in their fifth 2026 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, we take a look at what happened the last time these two sides came up against each other. 

Igor Stimac and his boys traveled to the Middle East to begin their 2026 FIFA World Cup and 2027 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers campaign with an away clash against Kuwait. India were second favourites going into the game, thanks to their record on the road.

But, they turned the tables around big time and produced one of the most magical nights in the history of Indian football. Manvir Singh became Blue Tigers’s hero on the night as he executed a well-worked move with a picture-perfect left-footed finish and helped his side secure a win.

It was India’s first away win in over two years and also their first away win in the World Cup Qualifiers since 2001. It was a night to remember for the Blue Tigers and their faithful across the globe.

What has changed since then?

A lot has changed both on and off the pitch for the Blue Tigers since their last meeting with Kuwait. India were ranked 99th in the FIFA rankings before their away game against Kuwait, but have now slipped to 121.

Moreover, that was India’s 15th win of the year while they have struggled to get even one this year. Most importantly, India have only managed to gather one point in three games since. So, nothing is the same and the stakes are higher than ever.

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